Publisher description for Chattel or person? : the status of women in the Mishnah / Judith Romney Wegner.

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Exploring the place of women in the socioeconomic system formulated in the Mishnah, a book of legal rules with a spiritual basis compiled by Jewish sages in 2nd-century Palestine, this study reveals a fundamental ambiguity in the role of women. Both the property and the peers of men, in some
circumstances women were considered to possess no powers, rights, or duties in law, and in others were judged morally, practically, and intellectually fit to own property, conduct business, engage in lawsuits, and manage their own personal affairs. Wegner spells out in detail these variations in
status, analyzes them, and isolates the factors that account for differential treatment of different classes of women in the private domain and for differential treatment of men and women in the public domain of mishnaic culture, relating her findings to recent developments in feminist analyses of
the status of women in patriarchy.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Women in rabbinical literature.
Mishnah -- Criticism, interpretation, etc.