Fontaine, Carole R. 1950- (Carole Rader Fontaine)
Fontaine, Carole R. 1950- (Carole Rader Fontaine)
Born April 11, 1950, in Lima, OH; daughter of Howard Foster and Olive Jean Rader; married Craig William Fontaine. Education: Florida State University, B.A., 1972; Yale Divinity School, M.A.R., 1976; Duke University, Ph.D., 1979. Hobbies and other interests: Art, prints, fiberart, sculpture, and computers.
Office—Andover Newton Theological School, 210 Herrick Rd., Newton Center, MA 02459. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer, educator. University of North Carolina, Greensboro, lecturer, 1979; Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC, lecturer, 1979; Andover Newton Theological School, Newton Center, MA, professor, 1979—, artist-in-residence, 1995-97. Also served as adjunct faculty member at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, 1982, and the Institute of Culture and Creation Spirituality, Oakland, CA, 1992. Greenheart Studio, Newton Center, founder, artist, 1992—. Has served as a consultant and commentator for the Arts and Entertainment Television Network (A&E).
International Federation of Women against Fundamentalism and for Equality (member of board of directors).
Yale Divinity School scholar, 1975; Gurney Harris Kearns fellow, Duke University, 1976-79; Zion Foundation grant, 1977.
Traditional Sayings in the Old Testament: A Contextual Study, Almond Press (Sheffield, Eng-land), 1982.
(Editor, with Athalya Brenner) Wisdom and Psalms, Sheffield Academic (New York, NY), 1998.
(Editor, with Athalya Brenner) A Feminist Companion to Reading the Bible: Approaches, Methods and Strategies, Fitzroy Dearborn (Chicago, IL), 2001.
Smooth Words: Women, Proverbs, and Performance in Biblical Wisdom, Sheffield Academic (New York, NY), 2002.
Contributor to the Harper's Bible Commentary, 1988, and Women's Bible Commentary, 1992; coeditor of Seneia 61: Women, War, & Metaphor, 1993. Member of the editorial board for Journal of Biblical Literature, Women in Judaism, and the Catholic Biblical Quarterly.
Writer and educator Carole R. Fontaine earned her undergraduate degree from Florida State University, then went on to attend Yale Divinity School, where she graduated with a master's degree, and later Duke University, where she earned her doctorate. She worked as a lecturer first at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, and then at Duke Divinity School, before accepting a position as a professor at the Andover Newton Theological School in Massachusetts, where she teaches Biblical theory and history. She has also served as a adjunct faculty member at Boston College and the Institute of Culture and Creation Spirituality. Fontaine is considered to be a feminist scholar with particular focus on the Hebrew Bible. Beyond her academic achievements, Fontaine is the founder of the Greenheart Studio in Newton Center, Massachusetts, where she also serves as an artist. She sits on the editorial boards of several publications, including Journal of Biblical Literature, Women in Judaism, and the Catholic Biblical Quarterly. In addition, she has served as a consultant for the Arts and Entertainment Television Network (A & E), and frequently volunteers her time to organizations that fight for human rights and the rights of women to live free of violence, serving on the board of the International Federation of Women Against Fundamentalism and for Equality (WAFE). In April, 2007, Fontaine was honored to present a speech, "Religious Tolerance: A Scriptural Message for Peoples of the Book," before the House of Lords in Parliament in London, as part of her WAFE duties. She is the author of a number of books, including Traditional Sayings in the Old Testament: A Contextual Study and Smooth Words: Women, Proverbs, and Performance in Biblical Wisdom, and served as the editor, with Athalya Brenner, of Wisdom and Psalms and A Feminist Companion to Reading the Bible: Approaches, Methods and Strategies.
In Smooth Words, Fontaine takes a look at the book of Proverbs and the ways in which it depicts the roles of women, particularly within a social context. She analyzes various ways women are associated with traditions of wisdom, considering not just the Bible itself, but other religious texts of the time, later scholarly writings, folklore—especially feminist folklore—and studies of performance. Fontaine considers the traditional roles that women play, often considered to be performers, but also within the confines of the family as caregivers and teachers, and their responsibility for the economics of the home itself, even if such matters within a larger, more worldly arena, are considered outside a woman's area of expertise and capabilities. Yet, the expertise that they gleaned within their traditional roles did eventually give them a platform of knowledge which was then credited for the wisdom they shared in more public venues. Ultimately, not just men were allowed the role of sage, and the goddess figures as well as certain Biblical figures, served to help society acknowledge just when and where women might provide useful advice and positive examples. The use of proverbs in verbal narrative serves as another excellent example that Fontaine uses to show the connection between women and wisdom. Christine Roy Yoder, in a contribution for the Review of Biblical Literature, remarked that "Fontaine succeeds in guiding readers on a thought-provoking, detailed search for greater understanding of the representations of women and women's participation in the wisdom tradition. This book is important for anyone interested in wisdom literature, feminist hermeneutics, and women in the Bible and ancient Near East." She acknowledged that Fontaine maintained a broad scope in her work, due to the fact that it is difficult in the present day to accurately assess the specific roles of women during certain historical periods, but noted that the result is "a compelling, eminently readable mosaic crafted from ancient texts, material culture, [and] contemporary parallels."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Catholic Biblical Quarterly, July 1, 1999, Kathleen M. O'Connor, review of A Feminist Companion to Reading the Bible: Approaches, Methods and Strategies, p. 610; April 1, 2000, Irene Nowell, review of Wisdom and Psalms, p. 384; April 1, 2001, "The Song of Songs," p. 357.
Interpretation, April 1, 2006, review of Smooth Words: Women, Proverbs, and Performance in Biblical Wisdom, p. 240.
Journal of Theological Studies, April 1, 2004, Carole R. Fontaine, review of Smooth Words, p. 174.
Review of Biblical Literature, Volume 6, 2004, Christine Roy Yoder, review of Smooth Words, pp. 272-275.
Shofar, January 1, 2004, review of Smooth Words, p. 213.
Theology, July 1, 1999, Susan Gillingham, review of Wisdom and Psalms; January 1, 2004, Elizabeth Fisher, review of Smooth Words.
Andover Newton Theological School Web site,http://www.ants.edu/ (May 20, 2008), faculty profile.