"Feminist Perspectives on Jewish Studies" by Lynn Davidman

Feminist Perspectives on Jewish Studies Lynn Davidman, Shelly Tenenbaum

Publication date:
25 Sep 1996
Yale University Press
288 pages: 229 x 152mm


This book is the first to evaluate the development of feminist scholarship in various fields within Jewish studies. Eminent scholars in biblical studies, rabbinics, theology, history, literature, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and film studies assess the state of knowledge about women in each field, analyze how this knowledge has affected the mainstream of the discipline, and propose new questions and concepts to pursue.

The authors—Joyce Antler, Lynn Davidman, Tikva Frymer-Kensky, Judith Hauptman, Paula E. Hyman, Sonya Michel, Judith Plaskow, Susan Starr Sered, Naomi Sokoloff, Shelly Tenenbaum, and Hava Tirosh-Rothschild—consider a range of fascinating issues. Among them are: whether Jewish culture is as patriarchal as is typically assumed; how gender arrangements in Jewish life are shaped by the structures and culture of the larger societies in which Jews live; the different ways in which changes in Jewish families over time and place are experienced by women and by men; whether women or men have been more reluctant to assimilate; and how segregation of the sexes has affected women's autonomy in different periods and locations in Jewish history. Together, the articles present a strong argument for the inclusion of gender as a category of analysis in all fields of Jewish studies.

"This collection demonstrates the wealth of insights that Jewish feminist scholarship has to offer feminists in other disciplines and Jewish thinkers and scholars of Jewish studies."?Tikkun

"The book will be a contribution to feminist studies and Jewish studies. Not only does it present materials that have never been put together in one volume, but it includes several essays that represent the very beginnings of feminist scholarship in their fields."?Mary Jo Neitz, University of Missouri-Columbia

"Lynn Davidman and Shelly Tenenbaum have done the variegated fields of Jewish Studies a great service. The essays they commissioned and collected assess deftly the extent to which feminist perspectives have influenced several disciplines. In doing so, they, in effect, argue persuasively for further enrichment of those fields through more extended and more developed application of insights from feminist thinking."?Judith R. Baskin, Contemporary Jewry

"A very well-written, coherent collection of essays, which accomplishes its self-assigned goals in an exemplary fashion. . . . [A] remarkable individual and collective achievement."?Edna W. Magder, Canadian Journal of Psychiatry

"This fine volume certainly fulfills its objective of examining the state of the art of Jewish feminist scholarship in the mid 1990s."?Michael Berkowitz, Religious Studies Review

"With the publication of Feminist Perspectives on Jewish Studies . . . academics, activists, and researchers have new and long-awaited tools for their own ongoing project of making Judaism ever fresh and refreshing."?Lior Moriel, Signs

"This volume is a superb statement on the ways in which feminist perspectives enrich our knowledge about Jewish society. . . . The essays in this book are uniformly excellent. They are immensely informative (the notes are extremely rich), well conceived and well written. The authors argue important substantive issues in their disciplines: history, literature, theology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, film. . . . It is a profoundly important collection, a superb introduction, as well as a contribution, to feminist Jewish studies. It should be read by everyone in Jewish studies."?Shulamit S. Magnus, Studies in Contemporary Jewry

"This is a ground-breaking anthology which covers a wide range of subjects and approaches. It will be of great value to scholars in Jewish studies, feminist scholars, and the growing number of feminist scholars within Jewish studies."?Lisa Grushcow, Journal of Jewish Studies