What it's about
What it's about
Women in the Bible—some of their names we know, others we've only heard, and other are tragically unnamed. Pastor and provocateur Alice Connor introduces these women and invites us to see them not as players in a man's story—as victims or tempters—nor as morality archetypes, teaching us to be better wives and mothers, but as fierce foremothers of the faith. These women's stories are messy, challenging, and beautiful.
Fierce will provoke you, open up possibilities for you, invite you to imagine the inner lives of other women, even offend you at times, like the prophets did. Although separated by centuries and cultures, we aren't so different from these women; we share their desires and abilities. We are all part of the story that God is telling.
We all—men and women—can be as fierce as these women of the Bible. Sometimes our ferocity is almost invisible, but it is not extinguished. When we read their stories, we can see not only their particular, fearsome lives but also our own.
Fierce reads like a series of edgy homilies that are at once hilarious and horrifying in their retellings of biblical stories of violence against (and occasionally by) women...While much of the prose is lighthearted, Connor grapples seriously with some of the most unpalatable stories in the Bible. One particularly painful chapter retells Ezekiel 23:28-30 in contemporary language from the perspective of God, the cosmic abusive spouse...This kind of honesty is compelling. It’s transformative. It's fierce.
—Elizabeth Palmer, "Tales of Fierce Women" from The Christian Century blog
The “old, old story” concerns “All the king’s men” or “All the president’s men.” The “new, new song” is about all the women who belong to the coming realm of liberty and justice. Alice Connor is a skillful artist who knows how to transpose old, old stories into new, new songs. In her lively imagination the old old stories do not stay old. They are powerfully and accessibly new and contemporary for our time and place. Connor knows that “feminism” is about power. She shows how these ancient stories are filled with powerful futures.
—Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
Pastor Connor presents biblical women whose stories don’t fit neatly upon a flannel-graphed frame or within the Sunday morning lectionary; Women beyond the stale categories of the victim, temptress, or silent witnesses of male doings. She reminds us that the Bible is messy and beautiful and not always for polite company. With humor and heart Connor provides biblical context and rhetorical criticism with clarity and compassion. Her pastoral narration connects these ancient stories to our modern lives: challenging what we’re apt to see, revealing what we often ignore, and asking us to honestly answer where we find God, and ourselves, in the midst. This book is funny and profound, present and prophetic, humbling and brave, and above all, fierce.
—Ben Christian, creator of A Game For Good Christians
Hip, funny, and substantive, Fierce demands that we take a second—and a third and a fourth—look at some of the Bible’s strongest women. Alice Connor’s approachable style and deep wit make the Bible feel like a friend, and her fertile imagination places readers smack dab in the middle of the story. I loved this book and can already think of several friends who are going to want to borrow my copy. I’m loathe to part with it, though, so they’re going to have to suck it up and wait until I’m feeling generous at Christmas.
—Jana Riess, author of Flunking Sainthood and The Twible
Some authors are artists, artists who paint new pictures with their words and give us fresh eyes to see old stories. They paint untold stories with colors that we need to look at and even when they are not our favorites make us want to look deeper still. These artists challenge us to think about old things in new ways, they invite us to ponder and they stretch us and challenge us to go deeper into ourselves. Alice Connor is such an author, such an artist. Alice invites us to look deeper into the women in our bibles and deeper into our lives with God. I am thankful for the challenge. and Anne Lamott better watch out!
—Lilly Lewin, worship curator, author of Sacred Space and curator of freerangeworship.com
Read the introduction