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New Westminster John Knox Press book sheds a light on sexual exploitation in the Bible

‘The Hero and the Whore’ by Camille Hernandez also offers a path toward healing

by Westminster John Knox Press | Special to Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — With a blend of storytelling, cultural analysis, and trauma-informed care, “The Hero and the Whore” invites readers to reconsider their assumptions about victims of sexual exploitation and respond with compassionate understanding that will bring us all to the wholeness God desires.

Of all the things modern people of faith overlook or choose to ignore in the Bible, stories of sexual exploitation are near the top of the list. This isn’t so different from our world outside the church. When victims of trafficking, rape, and harassment are dismissed and disbelieved, their stories are twisted and erased. When rape kits go untested, victims of exploitation and violence are encouraged to not pursue charges, and women are brought to bear their stories of past violence before an aggressive and disbelieving U.S. Supreme Court nomination hearing, we see how these stories are not only ignored in our churches, but in our society as a whole.

Camille Hernandez

Trauma-informed educator and minister Camille Hernandez dives deep into the Bible’s stories of exploitation and abuse to name the difficult truths buried in Scripture, address the forms such violence takes in modern society, and illuminate a path of healing and hope.

Early praise for the book

 “‘The Hero and The Whore’” is a liberation theology of resistance against the weighty systems of oppression that bear down on us in this new era of White Christian Nationalism. Camille Hernandez lets us into the moments in her life when her keenly honed critical consciousness comes face to face with the supremacist ideologies of white evangelicalism in the United States. She graciously offers us the acts of resistance that have allowed her to engage with biblical texts that have so often been used to support patriarchy and white supremacy. Her readings of Scripture are intuitive and welcoming, inviting the reader to explore how their own story finds meaning within these texts. For anyone feeling pushed to the margins of Christianity, ‘The Hero and the Whore’ is an excellent spiritual guide for determining what is worthwhile investment in our well-being and what needs to be left behind.” — Sara Moslener, author of “Virgin Nation: Sexual Purity and American Adolescence”

Learn more about this book from Westminster John Knox Press. For media inquiries, contact Natalie Smith at

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