Chapter

Procreating Women and Religion: The Politics of Spirituality, Healing, and Childbirth in America

Pamela Klassen

in Religion and Healing in America

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780195167962
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850150 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167962.003.0005
Procreating Women and Religion: The Politics of Spirituality, Healing, and Childbirth in America

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The contemporary home birth movement is rooted in a countercultural critique of biomedicine that, like many other alternative healing movements in America, draws from religious and spiritual resources. Spanning a continuum from traditionalist Jews and Christians to feminist practitioners of Goddess spirituality, these religious and spiritual resources are quite diverse, especially in light of the fact that only a small minority of childbearing women plan to give birth at home. Although these women may have very different understandings of the religious significance of childbirth and different theologies of the body, they do share at least one commonality: they are fashioning their religious interpretations of childbirth largely outside of the context of official, religious institutions. This chapter examines the politics of spirituality, healing, and childbirth in America.

Keywords: America; biomedicine; spirituality; healing; home birth movement; childbirth; women; politics; Jews; Christians

Chapter.  7987 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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