Tikva Frymer-Kensky: 1943 – 2006

In its September 8, 2006 edition, the Chicago Tribune is reporting the death of Tikva Frymer-Kensky.

Trevor Jensen, a Chicago Tribune staff reporter, wrote:

Tikva Frymer-Kensky was a University of Chicago professor and Hebrew Bible scholar who studied texts in the ancient languages of Sumerian and Akkadian.

Dr. Frymer-Kensky, 62, died Thursday, Aug. 31, in her Wilmette home following a lengthy bout with breast cancer, said her husband, Allan Kensky, a rabbi who serves at Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah in Wilmette.

“She loved fantasy,” her husband said, adding that his wife also was fascinated by comic books. “Her mind spanned so many areas.”

A professor at U. of C.’s Divinity School since 1995, Dr. Frymer-Kensky’s scholarship focused on how the Hebrew Bible, which includes much of the Old Testament, related to cultures of the Near East, including those in Egypt and Mesopotamia, said David Tracy, a professor at the Divinity School.

Dr. Frymer-Kensky’s biblical scholarship also delved into women’s role in religion.

To read the complete obituary, click here.

Frymer-Kensky was a prolific writer. Below is a small bibliography of the books and articles she wrote:

Reading the Women of the Bible. New York: Schocken, 2002

In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth. New York: Free Press, 1992.

“Religions and violence: an analytical synthesis,” Ecumenical Review 55 no 2 Ap 2003, p 164-167.

“On feminine God-talk,” Reconstructionist 59 no 1 Spr 1994, p 48-55.

“Law and philosophy: the case of sex in the Bible,” Semeia no 45 1989, p 89-102.

“The strange case of the suspected sotah (Numbers 5:11-31),” Vetus Testamentum 34 no 1 Ja 1984, p 11-26.

“Patriarchal family relationships and Near Eastern law,” Biblical Archaeologist 44 Fall 1981, p 209-214.

“Atrahasis epic and its significance for our understanding of Genesis 1-9,” Biblical Archaeologist 40 D 1977, p 147-155.

“Dabru emet: a Jewish statement on Christians and Christianity,” Pro Ecclesia 11 no 1 Win 2002, p 5-7.

“A Jewish look at Isaiah 2:2-4,” Criterion 41 no 3 Aut 2002, p 20-25.

“Unwrapping the Torah: Making a symbol real again,” Bible Review 18 no 5 O 2002, p 26-31,60,62.

“Biblical voices on chosenness,” In Covenant and Chosenness in Judaism and Mormonism. Pp 23-32. Madison; Teaneck:Fairleigh Dickinson University Press ; London: Associated University Presses, 2001.

Tikva Frymer-Kensky will be greatly missed.


Claude Mariottini
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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