Why Aren't Jewish Women Circumcised?: Gender and Covenant in Judaism / Edition 1

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Overview

Why aren't Jewish women circumcised? This improbable question, first advanced by anti-Jewish Christian polemicists, is the point of departure for this wide-ranging exploration of gender and Jewishness in Jewish thought. With a lively command of a wide range of Jewish sources—from the Bible and the Talmud to the legal and philosophical writings of the Middle Ages to Enlightenment thinkers and modern scholars—Shaye J. D. Cohen considers the varied responses to this provocative question and in the process provides the fullest cultural history of Jewish circumcision available.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520212503
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 9/6/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 334
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Shaye J. D. Cohen is Littauer Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy at Harvard University. He is the author of The Beginnings of Jewishness: Boundaries, Varieties, Uncertainties (California, 1999), From the Maccabees to the Mishnah (1987), and Josephus in Galilee and Rome: His Vita and Development as a Historian (1979).

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface

Part One. Jewish Circumcision and Christian Polemics
1. A Canonical History of Jewish Circumcision
2. Were Jewish Women Ever Circumcised?
3. Christian Questions, Christian Responses
4. From Reticence to Polemic

Part Two. Why Aren’t Jewish Women Circumcised? Four Responses
5. The Celebration of Manhood
6. The Reduction of Lust and the Unmanning of Men
7. True Faith and the Exemption of Women
8. The Celebration of Womanhood
Part Three.
Conclusion: Challenges to the Circumcision of Jewish Men

Notes
Bibliography

Index

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