John J. Collins is Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale Divinity School and author of many works, including from Fortress Press Daniel (Hermeneia, 1994), Does the Bible Justify Violence?, (2004) and Encounters with Biblical Theology (2005).
Drawing on the biblical figure of Hagar mother of Ishmael, cast into the desert by Abraham and Sarah, but protected by God Williams finds a proptype for the struggle of African-American women. African slave, homeless exile, surrogate mother, Hagar's story provides an image of survival and defiance appropriate to black women today. Exploring the themes implicit in Hagar's story poverty and slavery, ethnicity and sexual exploitation, exile and encounter with God Williams traces parallels in the history of African-American women from slavery to the present day. A new womanist theology emerges from this shared experience, from the interplay of oppressions on account of race, sex and class. Sisters in the Wilderness offers a telling critique of theologies that promote "liberation" but ignore women of color. This is a book that defined a new theological project and charted a path that others continue to explore.
Collins proceeds through the canon of the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, judiciously presenting the current state of historical, archaeological, and literary understanding of the biblical text, and engaging the student in questions of significance and interpretation for the contemporary world.
The third edition is presented in a new and engaging format with new maps and images. An index has been added to the volume for the first time.
The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.