People of the Body
Jews and Judaism from an Embodied Perspective
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By shifting attention from the image of Jews as a textual community to the ways Jews understand and manage their bodies — for example, to their concerns with reproduction and sexuality, menstruation and childbirth— this volume contributes to a revisioning of what Jews and Judaism are and have been. The project of re-membering the Jewish body has both historical and constructive motivations. As a constructive project, this book describes, renews, and participates in the complex and ongoing modern discussion about the nature of Jewish bodies and the place of bodies in Judaism.
Howard Eilberg-Schwartz is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University. He is the author of The Savage in Judaism: An Anthology of Israelite Religion and Ancient Judaism (winner of a 1990 American Academy Award for Academic Excellence) as well as The Human Will in Judaism.
"The greatest strength of the book is the issue it poses: the notion that Jews are not simply a people of the book but also a people of the body. This is a dimension of Jewish experience that has been sorely neglected and that the book puts on the agenda of Jewish studies through its consideration of a number of dimensions of the embodiedness of Jewish life. " — Judith Plaskow, Manhattan College
"Eilberg-Schwartz has identified an overlooked area of inquiry and has gathered together a collection of essays that in the aggregate suggests the riches awaiting further inquiry. This is the kind of book which will be cited frequently as a turning point in the development of a crucial research agenda. " — Martin S. Jaffee, University of Washington