'Motherhood, Religions and Spirituality' Published

Monday 27 June 2016

Motherhood, Religions and Spirituality, edited by Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor and Gill Rye, is now available as a special issue of Religion and Gender (6.1, 2016).

The concept for this interdisciplinary and cross-cultural publication – and some of the articles themselves – started life at the AHRC-funded 'Motherhood in post-1968 European Literature' Network Workshop on 'Motherhood, Religions and Spirituality', held at the University of London on 28 June 2013.

The relationship between motherhood and religion has a long history, with different religious beliefs impacting on the way mothers and motherhood are perceived, constructed and lived across centuries and cultures. In Judaism mothers transmit Jewishness to the next generation; in Islam, mothers are both recognised and valorised as the first educators of children; in Christianity, the cult of the Virgin Mary has sacralised motherhood and created an idealised figure. In the late 20th and early 21st century, Europe (as elsewhere) has seen a 'return' to religion, in relation to identity. The publication will continue and develop the stimulating dialogue and debate at the Workshop, exploring further the entanglements between motherhood, religions and spirituality across a range of contexts, concepts and experiences. It covers a broad range of faiths – Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Goddess Spirituality – disciplinary perspectives – anthropology, literary studies, oral history, philosophy, religious studies and sociology – and includes contributions relating to France, Portugal and Israel as well as Britain.

Contributors: Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor; Angela Davis; Pauline Eaton; Anna Fedele; Rachel Ellen Jones; Dawn Llewellyn; Sarah-Jane Page; Gill Rye.

Religion and Gender is a peer-reviewed, online, open-access publication. This special issue can be accessed at   https://www.religionandgender.org/578/volume/6/issue/1/