March 21st, 2012 12:16 EST
Lisbeth Salander Would Have Christ`s Blessings, Says Author
"Lisbeth Salander, the troubled female in the Oscar-winning film `The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo`, is the kind of woman that Jesus would invite for coffee," says Ruth Vander Zee, author of the new book "Woman Meets Jesus" (Edenridge Press). "Salander," says Vander Zee, "may not fit in at most churches but is the type of exploited woman that Jesus would befriend in the face of social and religious criticism."
Salander, played by Rooney Mara, is a gifted, but deeply troubled young woman with bleached eyebrows, a black Mohawk, tattoos, leather-and-chain dress, combat boots, and atypical body piercings.
Vander Zee, who spent years studying Jesus` interactions with women, concludes in her new book that Jesus challenged the religious establishment`s view of women and befriended and advocated for females. "Jesus stood up for exploited, rejected, isolated, desperate, and self-destructive women," says Vander Zee.
Vander Zee grew up in the church, learned Bible stories, and married a pastor. But later she decided to dig deeper into Jesus` personal encounters with women. What she discovered changed her view of women and Jesus.
Vander Zee retells the stories of Jesus` encounters with biblical women from their own, first-person perspectives. One is the prostitute who at Simon-the-leper`s house offended respected guests by lavishing perfume upon Jesus. Another one is ostracized at the well for her multiple husbands. Yet another is the untouchable woman who hemorrhaged for twelve years.
"The idea that Jesus was anti-women is a myth," says Vander Zee. "I can imagine Jesus sitting in a Stockholm cafÃ© with Salander, tearfully listening to her life story and offering peace for the most inner parts of her abused heart. He would have looked past her defiant spirit and offered healing and grace to the wounded child inside."
Ruth Vander Zee is the award-winning author of children`s books, including "Erika`s Story," "Mississippi Morning," "Eli Remembers," and "Always With You." She earned her college degree when she was 40, wrote her first book at 55, and now speaks to church and women`s groups and writes the blog www.journey-of-faith.com. She lives in Miami.
For more information about Ruth and Woman Meets Jesus: How Jesus Encourages, Empowers, and Equips Women on Their Personal Journey of Faith (ISBN: 9780982706350; $14) please visit www.journey-of-faith.com.