Secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission: “The Bible describes a woman according to the archetypes of the era”

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Nuria Calduk-Benages
Nuria Calduk-Benages

Recently, Pope Francis appointed Nuria Calduk-Benages, a nun from the Congregation of Missionaries of the Sagrada Familia of Nazareth, as Secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. In an interview with Vatican News, Sister Nuria, the first woman in history to hold the post, spoke about her research, particularly on female images in the Bible. Calduk-Benages teaches Old Testament at the Pontifical Gregorian University, is a visiting professor at the Pontifical Bible Institute and a member of the Catholic Bible Federation.

Olga Sakun – Vatican City

In her opinion, women can make specific contributions to biblical studies through their competence, interests and perspective. This applies, for example, to the study of metaphors related to femininity, to feminist hermeneutics, and so on. Kalduk-Benages also spoke about the difficulties that biblical scholars have to face when studying female images in the Holy Scriptures.

“In some biblical stories,” the Spanish theologian explained, “women are portrayed in a true sense as the protagonists of the history of Israel, with an important mission that they are called to fulfill for the people. In others, they are only an instrument of male power. In other (texts) the authors are generally silent about them. Thus, their stories are not told and we cannot hear their voices. This is our main difficulty. In addition, one should not forget: the biblical texts are very ancient stories in which a woman is described according to the archetypes of the corresponding era and in the androcentric perspective of the authors. “

Nuria Calduk-Benages also shared her experience of working with the Pope’s Commission for the Study of the Women’s Diaconate.

“Although the results obtained were to some extent regarded as partial, the experience was very enriching from an intellectual, ecclesiastical and human point of view.”

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