Chattel or Person?: The Status of Women in the Mishnah / Edition 1 available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- Oxford University Press, USA
Exploring the place of women in the socioeconomic system formulated in the Mishnah, a book of legal rules compiled by Jewish sages in second-century Palestine, this study reveals a fundamental ambiguity in women's role. In certain aspects men's property, in others their partners, women sometimes possessed no rights while at other times were judged fit to own property, conduct business, and manage their own affairs in the private domain of mishnaic culture. But, they were systematically excluded from the life of mind and spirit that flourished in the public domain of synagogue and study house. Wegner spells out in detail these variations in status, analyzes them, and relates her findings to recent developments in feminist analysis of the status of women in patriarchy.