By Judith Plaskow

This primary choice of Judith Plaskow's essays and brief writings strains her scholarly and private trip from her early days as a graduate pupil via her pioneering contributions to either feminist theology and Jewish feminism to her contemporary paintings in sexual ethics.

Accessibly prepared into 4 sections, the gathering starts off with a number of of Plaskow's foundational essays on feminist theology, together with one formerly unavailable in English. part II addresses her nuanced realizing of oppression and contains her vital paintings on anti-Judaism in Christian feminism. part III incorporates a number of brief and hugely readable items that clarify Plaskow's principal function within the production of Jewish feminism, together with the fundamental "Beyond Egalitarianism." eventually, part IV provides her writings at the importance of sexual ethics to the bigger undertaking of reworking Judaism.

Intelligently edited with the aid of Rabbi Donna Berman, and together with items by no means ahead of released, The Coming of Lilith is integral for spiritual reviews scholars, lovers of Plaskow's paintings, and people pursuing a Jewish schooling.

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Extra info for The Coming of Lilith: Essays on Feminism, Judaism, and Sexual Ethics, 1972-2003

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Most of these works would not appear on the syllabi of feminist theory courses today. In fact, with one or two exceptions, this material is out of print, hard to find, or not well known. Significantly, work within feminist theory that is difficult to comprehend is more likely to be read in theory courses, especially on the graduate level. The recent rise to prominence of a particular style of French feminist theory which is linguis­ tically convoluted is an example of this trend. While such work enriches our understanding of gender politics, it is important to remember that this is not a universal discourse, that it is politically and culturally specific, and emerges from specific relationships particular French feminist scholars have to their political and social reality.

Recognition of the inter-connectedness of sex, race, and class highlights the diversity of experience, compelling TALKING BACK 23 redefinition of the terms for unity. If women do not share “common op­ pression,” what then can serve as a basis for our coming together? Unlike many feminist comrades, I believe women and men must share a common understanding— a basic knowledge of what feminism is— if it is ever to be a powerful mass-based political movement. In Feminist Theory: from margin to center, I suggest that defining feminism broadly as “a move­ ment to end sexism and sexist oppression” would enable us to have a com­ mon political goal.

This knowledge should consistently inform the direction of feminist theory and practice. Unfortunately, racism and class elitism among women has frequently led to the suppression and distortion of this connection so that it is now neces­ sary for feminist thinkers to critique and revise much feminist theory and the direction of feminist movement. This effort at revision is perhaps most evident in the current widespread acknowledgement that sexism, racism, and class exploitation constitute interlocking systems of domination—that sex, race, and class, and not sex alone, determine the nature of any female’s identity, status, and circumstance, the degree to which she will or will not be dominated, the extent to which she will have the power to dominate.

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