Conceiving Identities: Maternity in Medieval Muslim Discourse and Practice

Overview

Explores how medieval Muslim theologians constructed a female gender identity based on an ideal of maternity and how women contested it.

Conceiving Identities explores how medieval Muslim theologians appropriate a woman’s reproductive power to construct a female gender identity in which maternity is a central component. Through a close analysis of seventh- through fourteenth-century exegetical works, medical treatises, legal pronouncements, historiographies, zoologies, and other...

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Conceiving Identities

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Overview

Explores how medieval Muslim theologians constructed a female gender identity based on an ideal of maternity and how women contested it.

Conceiving Identities explores how medieval Muslim theologians appropriate a woman’s reproductive power to construct a female gender identity in which maternity is a central component. Through a close analysis of seventh- through fourteenth-century exegetical works, medical treatises, legal pronouncements, historiographies, zoologies, and other literary materials, this study considers how medieval Muslim scholars map the female reproductive body according to broader, cosmological schemes to generate a woman’s role as “mother.” By close consideration of folk medicine and magic, this book also reveals how medieval women contest the traditional maternal identities imagined for them and thereby reinvent themselves as mothers and Muslims. This innovative examination of the discourse and practices surrounding maternity forges new ground as it takes up the historical and epistemic construction of medieval Muslim women’s identities.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781438447865
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 7/2/2014
  • Pages: 404
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathryn M. Kueny is Associate Professor of Theology at Fordham University. She is the author of The Rhetoric of Sobriety: Wine in Early Islam, also published by SUNY Press.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Generating Normative Discourse

1. On Wombs, Women, and the Hand of God: The Bearing of Life in the Qur’ān

2. Mapping the Maternal Body: The Mechanics of Reproduction

3. Paradigms of the Good Mother

4. Postpartum: Making the Good Mother through Public Rituals and Embodied Practices

5. Mother as Monster

6. The Cure of Perfection

7. The Making of Medieval Muslim Mothers

Notes
Bibliography
Index

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