Rape Culture, Religion and the Bible
Every day, global news feeds and social media engagements testify to the endemic presence of gendered violence and rape cultures. This has been demonstrated most strikingly by the rapid and global spread of the #MeToo campaign. But less explored has been the significant part that religions play both in confronting and in perpetuating myths and misperceptions that lie at the heart of rape cultures – that is, cultures that conceptualise gendered violence as an ‘inevitable’ or even profitable outcome of normative social gender roles. Religious texts, traditions, receptions, and beliefs can exert powerful influences on people’s understanding of gender relationships, shaping their responses to gendered violence and rape culture within their own socio-cultural contexts. This series delves into some of these complexities.
Focusing particularly (but not exclusively) on the important role of the Bible, a text that more than any other has exerted both tremendous cultural influence and doctrinal authority in Western democracies and beyond, this series fosters research into the phenomenon of rape culture, throughout history but particularly within contemporary societies. It investigates the complex and at times contentious relationships that exist between rape culture and the Bible (both the text itself and its afterlives in, for instance, popular culture), considering the various ways Bible-based religions both participate in and contest rape culture discourses and practices. In the course of this, the multiple social identities that invariably intersect with rape culture, including gender, sexuality, race and class, are explored.
The series is aimed primarily at researchers, postgraduates, church and other representatives of religious institutions, and upper-level undergraduates. It offers a diversity of approaches to the study of religion, the Bible and gender-based violence. Volumes are likely to appeal to a wide variety of audiences and will make a contribution not only to the study of religion and sacred texts but also gender studies and the study of popular culture and the media.