Gendering Disability: Rabbinic and Reformation Perspectives

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On March 6, Julia Watts Belser, Visiting Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and Jewish Ethics, and Michelle L. Wolfe, Visiting Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and the History of Christianity, delivered a presentation in which they examined the historical nexus of disability, gender, and religion in Jewish and Christian texts.

The two scholars used rabbinic, medieval, and early modern sources to explore the constructed nature of disability—and its spiritual, social, and sexual implications. Focusing on disability and the priesthood, they discussed how talmudic interpretation and papal dispensations both served to undermine strict notions of disability as a limit to priestly service.

This event was sponsored by the Center for the Study of World Religions and the Women's Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School.