Faith, Gender, Race and Justice: A Look at the Book of Ruth

David Chandler

Each month my friend, Liam Hooper and I host the Bible Bash Podcast. We take turns looking at passages in the Bible, then share our thoughts, analysis, and reflections on these passages. This opens up a discussion between the two of us. While we are both Bible scholars, our approaches are often personal, especially from our perspective as queer men. In the most recent episode, we are honored to have David Chandler, (Emily/David Chandler on Twitter) who agreed to share a reflection on the first chapter in the Book of Ruth.

David has a delicious eclectic background: They are an actor, singer, writer, magician, bibliophile, amateur folklorist and a spoons-player. Last year they completed their Bachelor of Music Theatre at Federation University, Australia. Right now they are in the midst of doing their Honours in Creative Arts. They are focusing on early queer rights activist and theorist, Karl Henrich Ulrichs.

David’s reading of Ruth is personal, and provides insights into the formation of their faith and faith journey. They share the story of a an unexpected encounter with the Bible and a new space to worship.

Diamond Stylz

In prepping for the show, Liam suggested I read an essay by the Black trans leader, Diamond Stylz. In the essay Womanist, which appears in Otherwise Christian 2: Stories of Resistance, Stylz sees the experience of trans woman of color mirrored in the cultural and social constrictions for widows in the Book of Ruth. Sytlz admits that while it may seem ridiculous to apply an ancient text to her own contemporary experiences,

“Yet, I as a Black, transgender woman have much in common with these women. Three-fourths of transgender people have experienced some form of workforce discrimination. One out of four have lost jobs due to bias. These circumstances frequently lead to involvement with underground economies such as sex work or drug work in order to survive.”

You can hear Bible Bash podcast wherever you listen to podcast, at the player below  or by following this link: Seeing Ourselves in the Text with David Chandler — Ruth 1

Featured Photo by Joseph Gonzalez on Unsplash

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