Alice L. Laffey, Mahri Leonard-Fleckman

294pp., 6 x 9
Publication Date: July 2017


Hardcover: $39.95


eBook: $19.99

Standing Order


This volume, using multiple methods, seeks to bring together the best scholarship and insight-Jewish and Christian, past and present-that has contributed to our understanding and appreciation of the biblical book of Ruth. As a feminist commentary, it is particularly sensitive to issues of relationship and inclusion, power and agency. In addition to the voices of the primary co-authors, Alice Laffey and Mahri Leonard-Fleckman, the volume incorporates and integrates important contributing voices from diverse contemporary social contexts and geographical locations. In sum, the commentary seeks to allow Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz to speak again for the first time.

Alice L. Laffey taught the Old Testament for thirty-five years at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, before retiring in May 2016.

Mahri Leonard-Fleckman is assistant professor of Hebrew Bible in the Theology Department at Providence College (Providence, RI). She earned her PhD in 2014 from New York University in Hebrew and Judaic Studies, with a focus on Hebrew Bible and ancient Near Eastern Studies. Before coming to Providence College, Leonard-Fleckman was an assistant professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Scranton (Scranton, PA).


"Two scholars—one at the dawn of a fine career, the other at the top of her craft—take up the challenge of decoding the biblical book of Ruth, an ancient text that has yet to divulge all of its secrets despite the many centuries of focused interest. Feminists both but with differing sensibilities and training, they have pooled resources and imagination to successfully produce a commentary in the classic mode, yet one in which all issues are scrutinized through boldly tinted lenses. The result is an engaging, elegant, and insightful contribution that should reward all readers, in and beyond the profession."
Jack M. Sasson, Professor Emeritus, Vanderbilt University

"These two authors bring a model of intergenerational feminist scholarship to an intergenerational biblical pair, Ruth and Naomi. Postcolonial analysis and global feminist theological insights provide rich food for thought."

"Laffey and Leonard-Fleckman have produced a thoroughly researched, readable, and engaging commentary on the book of Ruth. The authors guide the reader through a variety of opinions, whether from the enlightening `contributing voices' included throughout or from the occasional disagreements of the lead authors themselves. It is refreshing to see diverse views presented without competition, revealing, without the usual one-upmanship of academic discourse, a rich layering of interpretive possibilities."
Caroline Johnson Hodge, College of the Holy Cross

"Laffey (an experienced scholar) and Leonard-Fleckman (a new scholar) bring a rich combination of wisdom, insight, and sound biblical scholarship to this commentary."
The Bible Today