Conversion in/to the Wilderness: The Case of the Egyptian Slave Girl Hagar in Early Christian and Jewish Texts
The Complexity of Conversion - Intersectional Perspectives on Religious Change in Antiquity and Beyond - Valérie Nicolet
Marianne Bjelland Kartzow [+]
University of Oslo
In this article, intersectionality is employed to map and compare Jewish and Christian texts that talk about Ishmael’s mother Hagar and her ambiguous role as an insider/outsider. Her insider/outsider position or conversion cannot be understood without looking at intersections of gender, sexuality, class, and ethnicity. She is a foreign slave, a potential female seducer, but her character is not completely limited through these marginal descriptions. Her role as the mother of Abraham’s firstborn son potentially gives her a privileged position, although she is often devaluated with the help of gender, sexuality, status, or ethnic origin.