|About the Book|
Conceiving Identities explores how medieval Muslim theologians appropriate a woman s reproductive power to construct a female gender identity in which maternity is a central component. Through a close analysis of seventh- through fourteenth-century exegetical works, medical treatises, legal pronouncements, historiographies, zoologies, and other literary materials, this study considers how medieval Muslim scholars map the female reproductive body according to broader, cosmological schemes to generate a woman s role as mother. By close consideration of folk medicine and magic, this book also reveals how medieval women contest the traditional maternal identities imagined for them and thereby reinvent themselves as mothers and Muslims. This innovative examination of the discourse and practices surrounding maternity forges new ground as it takes up the historical and epistemic construction of medieval Muslim women s identities.