Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah are among the so-called deuterocanonical books of the Bible, part of the larger Catholic biblical canon. Except for a short article in the Women's Bible Commentary, no detailed or comprehensive feminist commentary on these books is available so far. Marie-Theres Wacker reads both books with an approach that is sensitive to gender and identity issues. The book of Baruch-with its reflections on guilt of the fathers, with its transformation of wisdom into the Book of God's commandments, and with its strong symbol of mother and queen Jerusalem-offers a new and creative digest of Torah, writings, and prophets but seems to address primarily learned men. The so-called Letter of Jeremiah is an impressive document that unmasks pseudo-deities but at the same draws sharp lines between the group's identity and the "others," using women of the "others" as boundary markers. From the Wisdom Commentary series Feminist biblical interpretation has reached a level of maturity that now makes possible a commentary series on every book of the Bible.
It is our hope that Wisdom Commentary, by making the best of current feminist biblical scholarship available in an accessible format to ministers, preachers, teachers, scholars, and students, will aid all readers in their advancement toward God's vision of dignity, equality, and justice for all. The aim of this commentary is to provide feminist interpretation of Scripture in serious, scholarly engagement with the whole text, not only those texts that explicitly mention women. A central concern is the world in front of the text, that is, how the text is heard and appropriated by women. At the same time, this commentary aims to be faithful to the ancient text, to explicate the world behind the text, where appropriate, and not impose contemporary questions onto the ancient texts. The commentary addresses not only issues of gender (which are primary in this project) but also those of power, authority, ethnicity, racism, and classism, which all intersect.
Each volume incorporates diverse voices and differing interpretations from different parts of the world, showing the importance of social location in the process of interpretation and that there is no single definitive feminist interpretation of a text.
Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah by Marie-Theres Wacker was published by Liturgical Press in October 2015 and is our 53095th best seller. The ISBN for Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah is 9780814681558.