Giraudon/Art Resource, New York, NY

Woman as serpent. Half lizard, half woman, the “serpent” tempts Eve beside the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 3:1–6) while an oblivious Adam tends a green shoot. Misogynist portrayals, such as this illumination from a 15th-century Flemish manuscript, “Mirror of Human Salvation,” are common in medieval and Renaissance art. Misogynist elements in the biblical text itself present a dilemma for a feminist scholar who loves the Bible and who searches for a theology of healing for men and women.