The Obligated Self

The Obligated Self

Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought
Distribution: World
Publication date: 08/01/2018
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-03432-8
Bookmark and Share

 Add to Wish List 

Other formats available:


This title is not yet available. You may pre-order this item and it will be shipped to you when it is available.

Mara H. Benjamin contends that the physical and psychological work of caring for and rearing children, for centuries the province of women, is theologically fruitful but a largely unexplored terrain for feminists. Attending to the constant, concrete, and urgent needs of children, she notes, necessitates engaging with profound questions concerning the responsible use of power in unequal relationships, the transformative influence of love, human fragility and vulnerability, and the embeddedness of self in relationships and obligations. Benjamin focuses on how parents and children negotiate these issues as Jews and how these relationships advance Jewish theological, ethical, and existential inquiry. Viewing childrearing as an embodied practice, Benjamin’s theological reflection invites a profound reengagement with key Jewish theological thinkers such as Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, and Emmanuel Levinas. Her contemporary feminist stance forges a convergence between Jewish theological anthropology and the demands of parental caregiving.


“"One of the most creative projects in Jewish feminist thought to draw on the human experience that has been much neglected in Jewish thinking since antiquity."”
 — Charlotte Fonrobert, author of , Menstrual Purity: Rabbinic and Christian Reconstructions of Biblical Gender

“"Brings together modern Jewish philosophy, Jewish historical and religious studies, and feminist theory to draw out themes like responsibility and obligation in the maternal experience."”
 — Claire Elise Katz, author of , Levinas and the Crisis of Humanity

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents



Part I

Chapter 1: Obligation

Chapter 2: Love

Chapter 3: Power

Chapter 4: Teaching

Part II

Chapter 5: The Other

Chapter 6: The Third

Chapter 7: The Neighbor