Recovering the Female Voice in Islamic Scripture: Women and Silence, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Recovering the Female Voice in Islamic Scripture

Women and Silence, 1st Edition

By Georgina L. Jardim


276 pages

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Protest is an activity not associated with the pious and collectively-minded, but more often seen as an activity of the liberal and rebellious. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are commonly understood as paragons of submission and obedience following Abraham’s example. Yet, the scriptures of all three faiths are founded in the prophets protesting wrongs in the social order. The Qur'an claims that men and women, and the relations between them are a sign from God. The question is to what extent are women silenced in the text, and do they share with men in shaping the prophetic scriptures? This book finds that far from silencing women, the Qur'an affirms the female voice as protester for justice and as questioner of Theology. In this reading of the female role in divine revelation in the Islamic text, Georgina Jardim returns to the scriptures of the Judeo-Christian counterpart of the Abrahamic faiths, to investigate whether the Bible may claim women as brokers of revelation. The result is an enriched understanding of divine communication in the Abrahamic scriptures and a commonplace for reasoning about the female voice as speaker in the Word of God.


"Jardim’s book is a valuable contribution to the tradition of giving women a voice in religious contexts. As her analysis is based on a non-confessional approach, it provides a valuable perspective, both outsider and insider, by using prominent female representatives from the Islamic tradition. Her mastery of the Arabic language, the Islamic source material and its Christian and Jewish counterparts, and current feminist writing gives her a solid foundation for her argumentation. Jardim’s work is a good introduction to Islamic feminist thought as well as to Islamic source material in general."

- Anne Sofie Roald, Malmö University, Sweden in Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations, 2016

Table of Contents

Introduction: Women’s Voice and the Public Space

1 Theology of Religions and Interfeminist Dialogue

2 Deconstructing the Qur`an’s Paradigmatic Women

3 Towards a Qur`anic Hermeneutic for Gendered Reading: Theological Approaches

4 Towards a Qur`anic Hermeneutic for Gendered Reading: Literary Approaches

5 Sign as Qur`anic Hermeneutic

6 From Signs, to Titles, to Women

7 Prophetic Disagreement in the Qur`an

8 Narratological Analysis of the Mujādilah

9 The Mujādilah as Trope for Interfeminist Dialogue


About the Author

Georgina L. Jardim read a PhD at the University of Gloucestershire, UK on obscure female characters in the Qur'an, bringing these conversations about community formation and the roles of women to bear on her study of the Qur'an as a Christian woman. She has taught in tertiary institutions in South Africa, and was a lecturer in Semitic languages at a Theological Seminary of the North West University in South Africa. She has also taught in the United Kingdom in both secondary and tertiary education and is currently pursuing ways to engage in, and further, cross-cultural dialogue within the Abrahamic religions.

About the Series

Routledge New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies

The Routledge New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies series brings high quality research monograph publishing back into focus for authors, international libraries, and student, academic and research readers. This open-ended monograph series presents cutting-edge research from both established and new authors in the field. With specialist focus yet clear contextual presentation of contemporary research, books in the series take research into important new directions and open the field to new critical debate within the discipline, in areas of related study, and in key areas for contemporary society.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Islam / Rituals & Practice
RELIGION / Sexuality & Gender Studies