This volume brings gender studies to bear on Micah's powerful rhetoric, interpreting the book within its ancient and modern contexts. Julia M. O'Brien traces resonances of Micah's language within the Persian Period community in which the book was composed, evaluating recent study of the period and the dynamics of power reflected in ancient sources. Also sampling the book's reception by diverse readers in various time periods, she considers the real-life implications of Micah's gender constructs.
By bringing the ancient and modern contexts of Micah into view, the volume encourages readers to reflect on the significance of Micah's construction of the world. Micah's perspective on sin, salvation, the human condition, and the nature of YHWH affects the way people live—in part by shaping their own thought and in part by shaping the power structures in which they live. O'Brien's engagement with Micah invites readers to discern in community their own hopes and dreams: What is justice? What should the future look like? What should we hope for?
Julia M. O'Brien is Paul H. and Grace L. Stern Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She is editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies (2014), and her other publications include Challenging Prophetic Metaphor (Westminster John Knox, 2008); Nahum through Malachi (Abingdon Old Testament Commentary series, 2004); Nahum (Sheffield Academic Press, 2002; 2nd ed. 2009); and Priest and Levite in Malachi (Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series, 1990). With Chris Franke, she co-edited Aesthetics of Violence in the Prophets (T. & T. Clark, 2010). She holds PhD and MDiv degrees from Duke University and a BA from Wake Forest University.