The Book of Jonah through Transgender Eyes — Bible Bash with Joy Ladin

Special guest, Joy Ladin, joins Liam Hooper and me for a moving and insightful exploration of the Book of Jonah. Joy Ladin holds the Gottesman Chair in English at Yeshiva University, and, in 2007, became the first (and still only) openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution.

In her book, The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective, Joy writes, “I don’t mean to suggest that the Book of Jonah is about being transgender. The Book of Jonah is about being human. But transgender experience is human experience, and questions transgender people face are questions that we all face. Everyone, transgender or not, has to decide what parts of ourselves we will and will not live. Each of us has to decide when we can’t and when we must sacrifice our individuality for the sake of our families and communities, when we have to be what others count on us to be, and when, like Jonah, we have to live the truths that set us apart from others and reveal to the world what we have only revealed to God.”  (from Soul of the Stranger, page 7. Quoted by Mx. Chris Paige in the fabulous new book, OtherWise Christian—A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation.)

Hear the Bible Bash podcast wherever you listen to podcast, or go directly to the source! Being Transgender, Being Human–Joy Ladin and the Book of Jonah.


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