The Soul of A Stranger: Read­ing God and Torah from A Trans­gen­der Perspective

  • From the Publisher
January 1, 2013

Read­ing some of the best-known Torah sto­ries through the lens of trans­gen­der expe­ri­ence, Joy Ladin explores fun­da­men­tal ques­tions about how reli­gious texts, tra­di­tions, and the under­stand­ing of God can be enriched by trans­gen­der per­spec­tives, and how the Torah and trans lives can illu­mi­nate one anoth­er. Draw­ing on her own expe­ri­ence and life­long read­ing prac­tice, Ladin shows how the Torah, a col­lec­tion of ancient texts that assume human beings are either male or female speaks,both to prac­ti­cal trans­gen­der con­cerns such as mar­gin­al­iza­tion, and to the chal­lenges of liv­ing with­out a body or social role that ren­ders one intel­li­gi­ble to oth­ers — chal­lenges that can help us under­stand a God who defies all human cat­e­gories. These cre­ative evoca­tive read­ings trans­form our under­stand­ing of the Torah’s por­tray­als of God, human­i­ty, and rela­tion­ships between them. The book is a Lamb­da Lit­er­ary Award Finalist.

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