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Grant number: FB-57534-14

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Mara H. Benjamin
St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN 55057-1574)

Parental Obligation, Power, and Care in Jewish Theological Perspective

I seek funding to complete a draft of my second book, a constructive investigation of the theological and ethical significance of childrearing and how it can inform contemporary Jewish thought. The traditional categories of premodern and modern Jewish theological and ethical reflection lend themselves to engagement with philosophical considerations of childrearing, such as obligation, asymmetry in relationships, and the priority of praxis. However, while Christian feminist theologians and secular theorists of culture have wrestled with the implications of contemporary literature on childrearing, Jewish thinkers have not. My volume will be the first to examine key modern Jewish religious thinkers, as well as tropes from the premodern Jewish religious corpus these thinkers engage, through the lens of parental care and obligation. This innovation in contemporary Jewish thought is tethered to the Jewish theological tradition and builds new bridges to contemporary religious studies.

Project fields:
Gender Studies; Jewish Studies; Religion, General

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2014 – 8/31/2015