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Muslim Midwives
The Craft of Birthing in the Premodern Middle East
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Main description:

This book reconstructs the role of midwives in medieval to early modern Islamic history through a careful reading of a wide range of classical and medieval Arabic sources. The author casts the midwife's social status in premodern Islam as a privileged position from which she could mediate between male authority in patriarchal society and female reproductive power within the family. This study also takes a broader historical view of midwifery in the Middle East by examining the tensions between learned medicine (male) and popular, medico-religious practices (female) from early Islam into the Ottoman period and addressing the confrontation between traditional midwifery and Western obstetrics in the first half of the nineteenth century.


Contents:

Introduction; 1. Islamic views on birth and motherhood; 2. Midwifery as a craft; 3. The subordinate midwife: male physicians versus female midwives; 4. The absent midwife; 5. The privileged midwife; 6. Ritual, magic, and the midwife's roles in and outside the birthing place; 7. From traditional to modern midwifery in the Middle East; Concluding remarks.


PRODUCT DETAILS

ISBN-13: 9781316191200
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: December, 2014
Pages: None

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