Jewish Women's Studies

Tal Ilan

in The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780199280322
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577260 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Jewish Women's Studies

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Women's studies, as a discipline within Jewish studies, is relatively new. It appeared in the 1970s, in the wake of a similar development within other fields of academia particularly in the United States — a move that was later to be designated ‘second-wave feminism’. The question of women's status within Judaism, as within any human society is not new. In Jewish sources, it is as old as the story of creation in the first chapters of Genesis, with the description of woman's secondary creation and her implication in the original sin and fall from grace. The human condition has always been one in which women are subordinated to men, and most written cultures have produced documents justifying this condition. Only over the last 200 years has this truism come under criticism, particularly in the cultures of the West, with the advent of ideas about humanism, equality, and democracy.

Keywords: Jewish studies; women's studies; feminism; second-wave feminism; Judaism; original sin

Article.  11804 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies ; Religious Studies

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