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Reading Group (I): Gender and Everyday Life in Contemporary Religion

25th April, 2018 @ 13:00 - 14:00

Woolf Institute, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0UB


The first of two Reading Groups on 'Gender and Everyday Life in Contemporary Religion' will take place between 1-2pm on 25 April 2018 at the Woolf Institute. (For details of the second Reading Group, see here.)

This Reading Group will be presented by Dr. Sertaç Sehlikoglu (Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah Research Fellow in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Pembroke College). The texts for discussion are as follows:

Over the past thirty years, the field of gender and religion has transformed from an almost invisible category to a vibrant, nuanced and flourishing field of study (Abu-Lughod, 1986, 1998; Avishai, 2008; Davidman, 1991; El-Or, 2010; Fader, 2009; Fishman, 2008; Griffith, 1997; Mahmood, 2005; Stadler, 2009). Inspired by pioneer works such as Saba Mahmood (2005), Marie Griffith (1997) and Lila Abu-Lughod (1986, 1998), the works that followed, examined the emergence of creative readings of traditional texts (Sonbol, 2015; Stadler, 2009; Taragin-Zeller, 2014), the growing models of female literacy, leadership and clergy (Avishai, 2008; El-Or, 2010; Hammer, 2012) as well as ritual practices (Koren, 2006; Ochs, 2007), legal issues in marriage and divorce (Joffe & Neil, 2012; Mir-Hosseini, 2013), and historical re-readings of women's literary (Umansky & Ashton, 2008).

Now that the field has been established, various critiques of this theoretical framework have emerged (e.g. Schielke, 2015; Sehlikoglu, 2016). This term, we will reread some of the 'watershed moments' in the study of gender and religion as we address some of the following questions:

We will explore these questions during the two brown bag lunchtime reading groups and a special research seminar focused on these issues.

How to book

For further information, including details of the texts, please contact Lea Taragin-Zeller at

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