Wholly Woman, Holy Blood: A Feminist Critique of Purity and Impurity

Overview

This is the first book to take a broad interdisciplinary approach to the relationship between female blood and issues of purity and impurity. Well-known women scholars examine blood and purity laws, especially as those laws have been passed down in the biblical literature and in the Roman Catholic tradition. Theses scholars work with different texts, ranging across the biblical, classical, patristic, medieval, and modern, with approaches varying from the historical critical to ...
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Overview

This is the first book to take a broad interdisciplinary approach to the relationship between female blood and issues of purity and impurity. Well-known women scholars examine blood and purity laws, especially as those laws have been passed down in the biblical literature and in the Roman Catholic tradition. Theses scholars work with different texts, ranging across the biblical, classical, patristic, medieval, and modern, with approaches varying from the historical critical to postmodern.

Kristin De Troyer (Claremont) asks whether blood is a threat to holiness or a step toward another holiness. Judith Ann Johnson (Claremont) explores the shedding of blood as the sanctifying rite of heroes. Anne-Marie Korte (The Netherlands) takes an anthropological look at female blood rituals. Kathleen O'Grady (Toronto) analyzes the woman with a discharge of blood in light of menstrual prohibitions in the Hebrew Bible. Deborah Ellens (Claremont) offers a challenging reading of Leviticus 15. Mayer Gruber (Beer Sheva, Israel) examines Qumran law and halachic sources dealing with women and pollution.
Kathleen P. Rushton (Brisbane, Australia) offers a feminist reading of the story of the woman in childbirth in John 16:21. Jennifer Schultz (Toronto, Canada) explores doctors, philosophers, and the Christian Fathers on menstrual blood. Susan K. Roll Buffalo, New York) surveys patristic and medieval texts dealing with the churching of women after childbirth. Grietje Dresen (The Netherlands) examines the churching of new mothers in the Roman Catholic tradition.

Kristin De Troyer is Professor of Hebrew Bible at Claremont School of Theology and Professor of Religion at Claremont Graduate University. She is the author of The End of the Alpha-Text of Esther: Translation Techniques and Narrative Techniques in MT-LXX 8:1-17-AT 7, 14-4.

Judith A. Herbert is a Ph.D. student at Claremont School of Theology.

Judith Ann Johnson is an independent research scholar working with Claremont Graduate University's Women's Studies in Religion and University of Global Ministries.

Anne-Marie Korte is lives in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and is the editor of Women and Miracle Stories: Multidisciplinary Explanation.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Judith A. Herbert is a Ph.D. student at Claremont School of Theology.

Judith Ann Johnson is an independent research scholar working with Claremont Graduate University’s Women’s Studies in Religion and University of Global Ministries.

Anne-Marie Korte is lives in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and is the editor of Women and Miracle Stories: Multidisciplinary Explanation.

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Table of Contents

Contributors
Preface
Abbreviations
1 The Semantics of Taboo: Menstrual Prohibitions in the Hebrew Bible 1
2 Menstrual Impurity and Innovation in Leviticus 15 29
3 Blood: A Threat to Holiness or toward (Another) Holiness? 45
4 Purity and Impurity in Halakic Sources and Qumran Law 65
5 The Woman in Childbirth of John 16:21: A Feminist Reading in (Pro)creative Boundary Crossing 77
6 Doctors, Philosophers, and Christian Fathers on Menstrual Blood 97
7 The Old Rite of the Churching of Women after Childbirth 117
8 The Better Blood: On Sacrifice and the Churching of New Mothers in the Roman Catholic Tradition 143
9 Female Blood Rituals: Cultural-Anthropological Findings and Feminist-Theological Reflections 165
10 Shedding Blood: The Sanctifying Rite of Heroes 189
Bibliography 223
Index 245
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