/ Reshit

Reshit: Call for Papers

Volume 7
David Zvi Kalman/Shalom Hartman Institute
David Zvi Kalman/Shalom Hartman Institute

Call for Papers

Reshit: Studies in Judaism is the academic journal of the Kogod Research Center for Contemporary Jewish Thought of the Shalom Hartman Institute. This peer reviewed journal aims to provide a forum for academic writing aspiring to be important and meaningful and which either implicitly or explicitly relates to the central values, concerns, and issues of Jewish life. As such, the journal invites articles in which historical and philological analysis serve the underlying aim of the article, and are not the goal itself.  In its academic focus, the journal invites works that integrate innovative methodologies and interdisciplinary knowledge, and which are intellectually broad, and, as such, will be of interest to scholars of diverse disciplines and other intelligent consumers of Jewish thought and culture.

In light of the above, Reshit: Studies in Judaism stipulates two criteria for accepting submissions: First, the article must meet the highest academic standards. Second, the article must be not only innovative but meaningful. To fulfill these criteria, the author is invited to explain the article’s importance and its significance for how we think about and understand contemporary Jewish life—both in the letter of submission as well as in article’s introduction section.

Women and Gender in Religious Thought – New Directions

The role of women in both society and the family—and relations among the sexes more broadly—is an issue of central importance to culture and theory today. Gender Studies scholarship starts from the awareness that pre-modern literature—in all its forms—was written by men, in societies where all of the power was held by men. As a result, people often assume that traditional perspectives on these issues must necessarily be gender-essentialist, assigning attributes and fields of behavior to each gender according to its “nature” and in particular locating the woman within the sphere of the home—typically as the man’s “helpmeet” (Genesis 2:18).

When it comes to the study of religion, Gender Studies scholars often repeat the claim that the status of women in monotheistic religions has been harmed due to the deeply masculine figure of God in these religions. However, as historical scholarship has shown, things are not so simple. Ancient literature—both legal and theological—contains a range of viewpoints much broader than we typically imagine. In this vein, some scholars have highlighted the appearance of feminine figures of the divine, such as the Shekhinah or the mother of God, in this literature.

In the 2023 issue, we want to examine the issue of gender and monotheism from a variety of new perspectives:

  1. We seek to reexamine the role of religious literature—in all three monotheistic religions—in preserving patriarchal worldviews, or even in challenging them.
  2. We seek to analyze polytheistic, neo-pagan, and New Age religious approaches to women and femininity, to “fear” of the feminine, and the connection between these approaches and each religion’s pantheon of gods.
  3. We seek to examine how ideas about the nature of women function in contemporary Israel, in Judaism, and in Christianity and Islam. How do Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Israel grapple with their respective traditions on this issue? Do they distance themselves from their tradition and try to “fix” it? Or do they perhaps try to fight against trends in modern feminism while revitalizing the role of women in “traditional society”?

We therefore invite scholars to submit articles on general topics as well as on the specific topic of the upcoming volume. Articles for this issue should be emailed to the secretary of the editorial board, David Wietchner. Articles should be submitted by March 15, 2023.

Authors should format their articles according to Reishit’s standards and specifications.

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