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Seminar Series: “Gestating Difference: Jews, Non-Jews, and Abortion in the Babylonian Talmud”

Hosted By: Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI)

Dr. Sara Ronis explores fetal personhood in the rabbinic world of late antiquity. Using close readings of primary texts from Late Antiquity together with analyses informed by insights from anthropology, critical animal studies, post-human studies, ethics, and legal history, this project explores how the rabbis use the fetus to think about what it means to be a living being, a human, and a Jew and offers a new way to think about how personhood is socially mediated and culturally constructed.

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Teacher

Dr. Sara Ronis

Dr. Sara Ronis is associate professor of Theology at St. Mary’s University, Texas, where she teaches courses in the Hebrew Bible and its reception, and Jewish Studies and religious studies more broadly. She holds a Ph.D. in ancient Judaism specializing in the Talmud from Yale University, and a B.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. Her research interests include rabbinic subjectivity and definitions of personhood, constructions of gender and authority in rabbinic literature, and rabbinic imaginings of and encounters with the other in late antiquity. Her first book, "Demons in the Details: Demonic Discourse and Rabbinic Culture in the Babylonian Talmud" (August 2022), looks at demonic discourse in the Babylonian Talmud in its legal, narrative, and socio-cultural contexts.
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Host

Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI)

The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute is a research institute of Brandeis University that promotes and shares research at the intersection of Jewish studies and women's and gender studies. We seek to put a gendered lens on all things Jewish.
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