Marked in Your Flesh

Marked in Your Flesh : Circumcision from Ancient Judea to Modern America

4.31 (22 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Leonard B. Glick offers a history of Jewish and Christian beliefs about circumcision from its ancient origins to the current controversy about the ethics of performing such surgery on helpless infants. Things changed dramatically in the 19th century, he shows, when after nearly two millennia of attacking the practice, non-Jews began to laud its health benefits. By the turn of the century, more and more physicians in America and England (but not, interestingly, in continental Europe) were performing the procedure routinely. Glick shows that Jewish American physicians were and continue to be especially vocal and influential champions of the practice which, he notes, serves to erase the visible difference between Jewish and gentile men and boys. Informed medical opinion is now unanimous that circumcision confers no benefit and the practice has declined somewhat. Nevertheless, it is still routine in many hospitals, and more than 60% of all boys born in America are circumcised at birth. In Jewish circles it is virtually taboo to question circumcision, but Glick does not flinch from asking whether this disfiguring surgical procedure should really continue to be the defining feature of modern Jewish identity.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 162.6 x 248.9 x 27.9mm | 703.08g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 019517674X
  • 9780195176742

Review quote

It is not directly relevant to mainstream Biblical Studies, but in so far as a biblically attested practice survives and is the subject of considerable heated debate, it behoves biblicists take it seriously. * N. Wyatt, Journal for the Study of the Old Testamant *show more

About Leonard B. Glick

Leonard B. Glick is a cultural anthropologist with a medical degree and a doctorate in anthropology. He is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Hampshire College and is the author of Abraham's Heirs: Jews and Christians in Medieval Europe (1999).show more

Rating details

22 ratings
4.31 out of 5 stars
5 55% (12)
4 27% (6)
3 14% (3)
2 5% (1)
1 0% (0)
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