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Book: The Complexity of Conversion

Chapter: Conversion in/to the Wilderness: The Case of the Egyptian Slave Girl Hagar in Early Christian and Jewish Texts

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.32024


In this article, intersectionality is employed to map and compare Jewish and Christian texts that talk about Ishmael’s mother Hagar and her ambiguous role as an insider/outsider. Her insider/outsider position or conversion cannot be understood without looking at intersections of gender, sexuality, class, and ethnicity. She is a foreign slave, a potential female seducer, but her character is not completely limited through these marginal descriptions. Her role as the mother of Abraham’s firstborn son potentially gives her a privileged position, although she is often devaluated with the help of gender, sexuality, status, or ethnic origin.

Chapter Contributors

  • Marianne Kartzow ( - mkartzow) 'University of Oslo'