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Imagining the Fetus: The Unborn in Myth, Religion, and Culture

Sasson, Vanessa and Jane Marie Law, eds.


In the current North American climate, the word “fetus” usually either evokes turbulent political issues or refers to a medicalized entity. However, these associations belie the extraordinary range of religious literature and oral traditions throughout the world in which the fetus features centrally as a powerful symbol or metaphor. Imagining the Fetus seeks to take the topic of the fetus well beyond its usual conversational contexts. This book acknowledges and explores the fact that the fetus has been the subject of imagination throughout much of human history and culture, occupying a vast array of roles and representing such themes as inclusion, emergence, and transformation. The essays in this volume analyze the depiction of the fetus in the world’s major religious traditions, finding some striking commonalities as well as intriguing differences.

Additional Information

  • Paperback
  • 305 Pages
  • Published: November 2010
  • ISBN: 9780195380057
  • Series: Religion, Culture, and History

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