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Katherine Southwood talk on Necromancy and Misogyny in 1 Samuel 28 and Ezekiel 3.
This article explores the depiction of anonymous women in Ezekiel 13:17-23 and 1 Samuel 28. It interprets the women in both texts as professional Yahwistic necromancers. However, rather than being recognized as such, both texts use various misogynistic tactics to present the women, polemically, as unauthorized, dangerous, and amateur. This is in keeping with the general negative responses in other parts of the Biblical material towards magic and divination. The article uses material from anthropology focusing on the theme of misogyny and witchcraft to demonstrate the importance of attending to social factors associated with witchcraft accusations, rather than the focusing on practices of witchcraft. The article emphasizes the need not to reproduce the text’s own misogynistic assessments of the women through demoting the women’s profession as “popular” or “unorthodox”. It also speculates about the connections between various misogynistic types of othering emerging in the exilic and post-exilic periods, including the connection between the woman and the “foreigner” or the woman who is a “whore”.
Keywords: necromancy; misogyny; Ezekiel 13; 1 Samuel 28; anonymity.