Imagining the Fetus

Imagining the Fetus : The Unborn in Myth, Religion, and Culture

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Description

In contemporary Western culture, the word "fetus" introduces either a political subject or a literal, medicalized entity. Neither of these frameworks does justice to the vast array of religious literature and oral traditions from cultures around the world in which the fetus emerges as a powerful symbol or metaphor. This volume presents essays that explore the depiction of the fetus in the world's major religious traditions, finding some striking commonalities as well as intriguing differences. Among the themes that emerge is the tendency to conceive of the fetus as somehow independent of the mother's body - as in the case of the Buddha, who is described as inhabiting a palace while gestating in the womb. On the other hand, the fetus can also symbolically represent profound human needs and emotions, such as the universal experience of vulnerability. The authors note how the advent of the fetal sonogram has transformed how people everywhere imagine the unborn today, giving rise to a narrow range of decidedly literal questions about personhood, gender, and disability.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 160.02 x 233.68 x 25.4mm | 544.31g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 3 halftones, 14 line illustrations
  • 0195380045
  • 9780195380040
  • 2,004,886

Review quote

Canvassing many world religions, as well as dealing capably with biblical traditions, teh contributors have assembled and analyzed a wealth of intriguing materials. ...This collection of essays will appeal to the full range of readers; it will be valuable to researchers, yet accessible enough for undergraduate courses and helpful to a general audience seeking insights beyond the rhetorical impasse of current debates. * Choice *show more

Table of contents

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORSshow more

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