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Sex, Gender and the Sacred: Reconfiguring Religion in Gender History

Joanna de Groot (Editor), Sue Morgan (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-83376-6
348 pages
May 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
Sex, Gender and the Sacred: Reconfiguring Religion in Gender History (1118833767) cover image

Sex, Gender and the Sacred presents a multi-faith, multi-disciplinary collection of essays that explore the interlocking narratives of religion and gender encompassing 4,000 years of history. 

  • Contains readings relating to sex and religion that encompass 4,000 years of gender history
  • Features new research in religion and gender across diverse cultures, periods, and religious traditions
  • Presents multi-faith and multi-disciplinary perspectives with significant comparative potential
  • Offers original theories and concepts relating to gender, religion, and sexuality
  • Includes innovative interpretations of the connections between visual, verbal, and material aspects of particular religious traditions
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Notes on Contributors vii

Introduction: Beyond the ‘Religious Turn’? Past, Present and Future Perspectives in Gender History 1
JOANNA DE GROOT AND SUE MORGAN

Part I: Crossing Cultures and Transnational Exchanges

1 Witches, Female Priests and Sacred Manoeuvres: (De)Stabilising Gender and Sexuality in a Cuban Religion of African Origin 31
CAROLYN E. WATSON

2 Liberal Religion and the ‘Woman Question’ between East and West: Perspectives from a Nineteenth-Century Bengali Women’s Journal 51
CLARE MIDGLEY

3 Indeterminacy in Meaning: Religious Syncretism and Dynastic Historiography in the Shann¨uren zhuan 67
YUET KEUNG LO

4 ‘All of Their Customs are Daughters of Their Religion’: Baptists in Post-Revolutionary Mexico, 1920s–present 83
KATHLEEN M. McINTYRE

5 Creating the ‘Problem Hindu’: Sati, Thuggee and Female Infanticide in India, 1800–60 104
DANIEL J. R. GREY

Part II: Religion, Embodiment and Subjectivity

6 Engendering Purity and Impurity in Assyriological Studies: A Historiographical Overview 119
´ERICA COUTO-FERREIRA AND AGN`ES GARCIA-VENTURA

7 Lamentation Motifs in Medieval Hagiography 135
ANNE E. BAILEY

8 Architecture of Desire: Mediating the Female Gaze in the Medieval English Anchorhold 150
MICHELLE M. SAUER

9 The Alluring Beauty of a Leonardesque Ideal: Masculinity and Spirituality in Renaissance Milan 170
MAYA CORRY

10 ‘Deaf to the Word’: Gender, Deafness and Protestantism in Nineteenth-Century Britain and Ireland 195
ESME CLEALL

Part III: Religion, Gender and Sexuality

11 The Sexual Shame of the Chaste: ‘Abortion Miracles’ in Early Medieval Saints’ Lives 211
ZUBIN MISTRY

12 ‘Give Me Chastity’: Masculinity and Attitudes to Chastity and Celibacy in the Middle Ages 225
PAT CULLUM

13 Common Soldiers, Same-Sex Love and Religion in the Early Eighteenth-Century British Army 241
SUSAN GANE

14 ‘Dark Ecstasies’: Sex, Mysticism and Psychology in Early Twentieth-Century England 256
JOY DIXON

15 Made Flesh? Gender and Doctrine in Religious Violence in Twentieth-Century Spain 272
MARY VINCENT

Part IV: Gender, Religion and Political Activity

16 Conversion Trouble: The Alawis of Hadhramawt, Empire, Gender and the Problem of Sovereignty in Nineteenth-Century South India 287
WILSON CHACKO JACOB

17 ‘Fatherland, Religion, Family’: Exploring the History of a Slogan in Greece, 1880–1930 304
EFFI GAZI

18 The More Things Change: Debating Gender and Religion in India’s Hindu Laws, 1920–2006 315
RINA VERMA WILLIAMS

Index 329

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Joanna de Groot is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of York and a member of the Centres for Eighteenth Century Studies, Modern Studies and Women’s Studies.

Sue Morgan is Professor of Women’s and Gender History at the University of Chichester, UK. She works on the history of religion and gender and her most recent publications include the co-edited volumes Women, Gender and Religious Cultures: Britain, 1800-1940 (2010) with Jacqueline de Vries and Men, Masculinities and Religious Change in Twentieth Century Britain (2013) with Lucy Delap.

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