Table of Contents

Introduction: woman of flames or inflammatory woman?.
Domesticating Deborah: disputes about women's leadership in early Judaism and Christianity.
Wife of Barak: Deborah in the Middle Ages.
Judge Deborah and the monstrous regiment of women: sixteenth-century writers and the prophetess.
A "heroick and masculine-spirited championess": Deborah in early modern gender debates.
Mothers in Israel: suffragettes, women preachers, and female roles in the nineteenth century.
A fiery woman: Deborah in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Conclusion: the prophet Deborah in Jewish and Christian imagination. Joy A. Schroeder offers the first in-depth exploration of the biblical story of Deborah, an authoritative judge, prophet, and war leader. For centuries, Deborah's story has challenged readers' traditional assumptions about the place of women in society. Schroeder shows how Deborah's story has fueled gender debates throughout history. An examination of the prophetess's journey through nearly two thousand years of Jewish and Christian interpretation shows how the biblical account of Deborah was deployed against women, for women, and by women who aspired to leadership roles in church and society. Numerous women-and men who supported women's aspirations to leadership-used Deborah's narrative to justify female claims to political and religious authority. Opponents to women's public leadership endeavored to define Deborah's role as "private" or argued that she was a divinely authorized exception, not to be emulated by future generations of women. Deborah's Daughters provides crucial new insight into the the history of women in Judaism and Christianity, and into women's past and present roles in the church, synagogue, and society.