Ruane, “Sacrifice and Gender in Biblical Law”

This June, Cambridge University Press will publish Sacrifice and Gender in Biblical Law by Nicole J. Ruane (Syracuse University).  The publisher’s description follows.Sacrifice and Gender

This book examines the Hebrew Bible’s numerous laws about sacrificial procedure to understand the significance of gender in sacrificial rituals and the reasons that gender distinctions are so vital in these acts. Gender selection of both victims and participants is an intrinsic aspect of the nature and purpose of each rite, affecting its form and function, as well as its legitimacy. Sacrifice and Gender in Biblical Law considers the laws of the firstborn, the rite of the red cow, laws of slaughter, rituals of purification, and other offerings. It shows that these laws regulate material wealth and contribute to the construction of social roles.

Al-Rasheed, “A Most Masculine State”

This month, Cambridge University Press will publish A Most Masculine State: Gender, Politics and Religion in Saudi Arabia by Madawi Al-Rasheed (University of London).  The publisher’s description follows.A Most Masculine

Women in Saudi Arabia are often described as either victims of patriarchal religion and society or successful survivors of discrimination imposed on them by others. Madawi Al-Rasheed’s new book goes beyond these conventional tropes to probe the historical, political, and religious forces that have, across the years, delayed and thwarted their emancipation. The book demonstrates how, under the patronage of the state and its religious nationalism, women have become hostage to contradictory political projects that on the one hand demand female piety, and on the other hand encourage modernity. Drawing on state documents, media sources, and interviews with women from across Saudi society, the book examines the intersection between gender, religion, and politics to explain these contradictions and to show that, despite these restraints, vibrant debates on the question of women are opening up as the struggle for recognition and equality finally gets under way.