SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Consistently praised by colleagues and critics for her scholarship and expertise in Jewish, feminist and philosophical literature, Rochelle L. Millen, professor of religion at Wittenberg University, has again added her voice to the rich body of work with her latest book Women, Birth and Death in Jewish Law and Practice.
Considered a crucial addition to the literature on Judaism and feminism, Millen’s book, part of Brandeis University’s series on Jewish women published by the University Press of New England, explores how Jewish tradition perceives and treats rituals surrounding birth and death, particularly as they pertain to women’s development. Among the topics Millen discusses are contraception and birth control, fertility and celebrating the birth of a daughter.
The book provides “a sensitive exploration of the development of pivotal life cycle rituals as they touch Jewish women’s lives,” according to the publisher. The “book’s smooth blending of scholarship introduced and ‘justified’ by personal experience gives it its special flavor,” added Rela Mintz Geffen, president of Baltimore Hebrew University. The book “will engage readers who are knowledgeable about Jewish law and those who are just beginning to explore the topic,” she continued. Widely published and an award-winning professor, Millen richly contextualizes the legal debates by raising questions about gender and sexuality throughout the book’s 264 pages. Her brief epilogue also serves to illuminate the contemporary challenge for all Jewish denominations to integrate Jewish women into the primary life-cycle rituals.
“This work arises from the interweaving of my scholarly interests in feminism and religion, as framed by personal experience,” Millen said. “The research led me not only to intriguing sources, both ancient and contemporary, but also to some remarkable people in the field.”
Co-editor of New Perspectives on the Holocaust, published by NYU Press, and a forthcoming volume from the University of Washington Press, Millen co-chaired the Religion and Genocide section of the American Academy of Religion for seven years and is currently a contributing editor for The Menorah Review. Her scholarly interests concern women in religion, modern Jewish thought and the Holocaust.
The recipient of numerous research grants from such prestigious organizations as the Lilly Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Millen earned her B.A. from Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from McMaster University. She joined the Wittenberg faculty in 1988.
| Related Links:
Send a Message
• Book-Delivering Prof Named Ohio Professor of the Year
• Senior Class Selects Livestrong President & CEO Doug Ulman As 2011 Commencement Speaker
•Communication Program Honored Nationally With Top Award
• Wittenberg University Art Students Finalists For Scholarship Award