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Enclosed Gardens Revealed: The Concept of Virginity in Medieval Jewish Culture

Enclosed Gardens Revealed: The Concept of Virginity in Medieval Jewish Culture

Paper given by Avital Davidovich-Eshed

Delivered at Harvard University on 08 November 2017

This talk addresses the politics of what shaped the Jewish concept of virginity in the High Middle Ages against the backdrop of Western European culture. Broaching a virtually unexplored topic, Davidovich-Eshed’s research offers the first comprehensive survey of virginity in Judaism, including its function as a decisive factor in women’s identity and social status, and also as an essential religious category.

Avital Davidovich-Eshed is a teaching fellow at the Gender Studies Program at Bar Ilan University, a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for the Study of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

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