The Veil: Women Writers on Its History, Lore, and Politics / Edition 1

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This groundbreaking volume, written entirely by women, examines the vastly misunderstood and multilayered world of the veil. Veiling-of women, of men, and of sacred places and objects-has existed in countless cultures and religions for centuries. Today, veiling is a globally polarizing issue, a locus for the struggle between Islam and the West and between contemporary and traditional interpretations of Islam. But veiling was a practice long before Islam and extends far beyond the Middle East. This book explores and examines the cultures, politics, and histories of veiling. Twenty-one gifted writers and scholars, representing a wide range of societies, religions, ages, locations, races, and accomplishments, here elucidate, challenge, and/or praise the practice.

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Editorial Reviews

The Times
“Thoughtful [and] intelligent.”
Daily Telegraph
“This thought-provoking collection of essays goes far in moving the veil away from any singular interpretation or judgment.”
Bloomsbury Review
“Provie[s] a wide spectrum of views, traditions, feelings and issues related to the human practice of covering the head and hair.”
Journal American Academy Of Religion/ Jaar
“The approach chosen for this anthology—reflective, meditative broad, and under exclusively female authorship—is commendable and refreshing.”
Wise (Women's Islamic Initiative In Spirituality And Equity)
Feminist Review
“A critical read for feminists and students of Women’s Studies in the United States.”
Wise (Women’s Islamic Initiative In Spirituality And Equity)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520255180
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 7/2/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Heath is the author of seven books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Scimitar and the Veil: Extraordinary Women of Islam, and her writing has appeared in numerous anthologies. She has traveled extensively throughout the Muslim world and is the founder of Seeds for Afghanistan and the Afghanistan Relief Organization Midwife Training and
Infant Care program, now
International Midwife Assistance.

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Table of Contents

1 From her royal body the robe was removed : the blessings of the veil and the trauma of forced unveilings in the Middle East Mohja Kahf Kahf, Mohja 27

2 Shattered vessels that contain divine sparks : unveiling Hasidic women's dress code Barbara Goldman Carrel Carrel, Barbara Goldman 44

3 Going the whole nine yards : vignettes of the veil in India Roxanne Kamayani Gupta Gupta, Roxanne Kamayani 60

4 Out of the cloister : unveiling to better the Gospel Laurene M. LaFontaine LaFontaine, Laurene M. 75

5 The Amish veil : symbol of separation and community Jana M. Hawley Hawley, Jana M. 90

6 "What is subordinated, dominates" : mourning, magic, masks, and male veiling Jennifer Heath Heath, Jennifer 99

7 I just want to be me : issues in identity for one American Muslim woman Pamela K. Taylor Taylor, Pamela K. 119

8 "She freed and floated on the air" : Salome and her Dance of the Seven Veils Shireen Malik Malik, Shireen 139

9 "He hath couered my soule inwarde" : veiling in medieval Europe and the early Church Desiree G. Koslin Koslin, Desiree G. 160

10 Nubo : the wedding veil Sarah C. Bell Bell, Sarah C. 171

11 After Eden : the veil as a conduit to the internal Eve Brugin Brugin, Eve 174

12 Virtue and sin : an Arab Christian woman's perspective Rita Stephan Stephan, Rita 191

13 Drawing the line at modesty : my place in the order of things Michelle Auerbach Auerbach, Michelle 202

14 On the road : travels with my hijab Maliha Masood Masood, Maliha 213

15 Purdah, patriarchy, and the tropical sun : womanhood in India Jasbir Jain Jain, Jasbir 231

16 The veil : from Persepolis Marjane Satrapi Satrapi, Marjane248

17 Concealing and revealing female hair : veiling dynamics in contemporary Iran Ashraf Zahedi Zahedi, Ashraf 250

18 That (Afghan) girl! : ideology unveiled in National Geographic Dinah Zeiger Zeiger, Dinah 266

19 Burqas and bikinis : Islamic dress in newspaper cartoons Kecia Ali Ali, Kecia 281

20 Dress code and modes : how Islamic is the veil? Aisha Lee Fox Shaheed Shaheed, Aisha Lee Fox 290

21 From veil to veil : "what's in a woman's head is a lot more important than what's on it" Sherifa Zuhur Zuhur, Sherifa 307

Epilogue 319

About the contributors 323

Index 331

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