Conceiving Agency: Reproductive Authority among Haredi Women

Conceiving Agency: Reproductive Authority among Haredi Women

by Michal S. Raucher

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Overview

978-1138364585 978-0415788946 978-0814344422

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253050021
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 09/01/2020
Pages: 228
Sales rank: 694,492
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.52(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Michal Raucher is Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and affiliate faculty in Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University.

Table of Contents

Introduction1. Medicine and Religion: Doctors and Rabbis in Israel2. Books and Babies: Pathways to Authority3. The Embodiment of Pregnancy4. Reproductive Theology: Embodying Divine Authority5. Abortions, Finances, and Women's Reproductive AuthorityConclusion: Haredi Women's Bodies and BeyondWorks CitedIndex

What People are Saying About This

"Through poignant story-telling and critical self-disclosure, Raucher shatters the traditional boundaries of insider/outsider in the study of religion in deeply insightful ways. Her ethnography weaves together a searing feminist analysis that upends conventional understandings of Haredi women by demonstrating how they subvert traditional expectations of female control and submission in exercising agency and religious authority over their reproductive lives. A must read for anyone interested in how and why acknowledging the voices and experiences of embodied moral agents is essential to the work of ethics."

Susan Martha Kahn

A fascinating and original analysis that illuminates how women transform their embodied knowledge of pregnancy and childbirth into expertise.  A real contribution to the literature and a remarkable achievement!

Aana Marie Vigen]]>

Michal Raucher shows that women's reproductive and moral agency is much more complicated than many assume—especially with respect to religious and cultural traditions that are not widely known by those outside of those traditions—here specifically speaking to the experiences of ultra-Orthodox Jewish (Haredi) women. She shows the strong contribution that an ethnographic method can make to give a much more richly textured understanding to the decisions, norms, values, and worldviews of these women than is possible to achieve though studies of religious and legal texts alone.

Ayala Fader]]>

Michal Raucher argues that women who are in their third pregnancy and beyond claim a distinctive relationship with the divine, a relationship that authorizes them to trust their own embodied knowledge over the directives of their doctors or their rabbis. This work is an important intervention in Jewish studies, providing much needed attention on those who have too often been marginalized, like women and children.

Aana Marie Vigen

"Michal Raucher shows that women's reproductive and moral agency is much more complicated than many assume—especially with respect to religious and cultural traditions that are not widely known by those outside of those traditions—here specifically speaking to the experiences of ultra-Orthodox Jewish (Haredi) women. She shows the strong contribution that an ethnographic method can make to give a much more richly textured understanding to the decisions, norms, values, and worldviews of these women than is possible to achieve though studies of religious and legal texts alone."

Ayala Fader

"Michal Raucher argues that women who are in their third pregnancy and beyond claim a distinctive relationship with the divine, a relationship that authorizes them to trust their own embodied knowledge over the directives of their doctors or their rabbis. This work is an important intervention in Jewish studies, providing much needed attention on those who have too often been marginalized, like women and children."

Rebecca Todd Peters

Through poignant story-telling and critical self-disclosure, Raucher shatters the traditional boundaries of insider/outsider in the study of religion in deeply insightful ways. Her ethnography weaves together a searing feminist analysis that upends conventional understandings of Haredi women by demonstrating how they subvert traditional expectations of female control and submission in exercising agency and religious authority over their reproductive lives. A must read for anyone interested in how and why acknowledging the voices and experiences of embodied moral agents is essential to the work of ethics.

Jeremy Posadas

Conceiving Agency deftly demonstrates how religious women, when they make reproductive decisions, are not simply applying principles drawn from their tradition, but actively constructing their own moral authority within that tradition. The book thereby expands and complexifies our understanding of Jewish reproductive subjectivity, of women's religious subjectivity, and of reproduction as a primary site of the constitution of religious traditions as such, all at once.

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