NMC284H1: Judaism and Feminism: Legal Issues from Menstruation to Ordination



Agitation for change exists in religious practice worldwide in areas of access, status, inclusion, and egalitarianism. Traditional religion is often in conflict with egalitarian modernity. This sometimes results in difficulties with religious identification. This course will explore the interaction between feminism and Judaism. We will examine how Jewish law (halakhah) sometimes conflicts with ideas of egalitarianism particularly in legal disabilities for women such as divorce, lack of access to high-level Torah study, and discrimination in public religious roles. The traditional exemption of women from the obligation of Torah study had great impact on women’s religious responsibility and status. Various movements within Judaism competed in efforts to resolve these difficulties. In this course we will consider to what extent inclusion and egalitarianism have become complementary to traditional Judaism.

Distribution Requirements
Breadth Requirements
Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)
Mode of Delivery
In Class