Theology

Vashti was a queen…

…so let’s stop using her as a way of talking down to women With hindsight, I can see the subtle ways in which Vashti has been downtrodden in common readings of scripture. However, I have also read some shockingly ill-considered views from both men and women. What both the subtle and the blatant have in common is that they seek to pitch Vashti against Esther as if the point of the book is to correct…

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Theology

The refusal: Vashti’s “Such a time as this” (part 4)

But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by the eunuchs. At this the king became enraged, and his anger burned within him. (Esther 1:12 ESV) Vashti’s refusal is the climax of her story. But is it an example of rebellion or assertiveness? Some readings of Vashti are highly critical of her denial, suggesting that she was disobedient, rebellious or playing power games of her own. The EEC is more measured, but…

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Theology

Re-reading the book of Esther

More than 18 months ago, a friend asked what the deal is with Esther chapter 1. It is such a good question. So, having spent more than a year re-reading Esther, Vashti, the¬†book of Esther and issues around these themes, I now feel ready to begin to address the question and share what I believe is going on in Esther 1. However, reading scripture is best done in community and hearing God works best in…

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