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The Veil
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This groundbreaking volume, written entirely by women, examines the vastly misunderstood and multilayered world of the veil. Veiling - of women, of men, and of sacred places and objects - has existed in countless cultures and religions from time immemorial. Today, veiling is a globally polarizing issue, a locus for the struggle between Islam and the West and between contemporary and traditional interpretations of Islam. But veiling was a practice long before Islam and still extends far beyond the Middle East. This book explores and examines the cultures, politics, and histories of veiling. Twenty-one gifted writers and scholars, representing a wide range of societies, religions, ages, locations, races, and accomplishments, here elucidate, challenge, and/or praise the practice. Expertly organized and introduced by Jennifer Heath, who also writes on male veiling, the essays are arranged in three parts: the veil as an expression of the sacred; the veil as it relates to the emotional and the sensual; and, the veil in its sociopolitical aspects. This unique, dynamic, and insightful volume is illustrated throughout. It brings together a multiplicity of thought and experience, much of it personal, to make readily accessible a difficult and controversial subject. The contributors include Kecia Ali, Michelle Auerbach, Sarah C. Bell, Barbara Goldman Carrel, Eve Grubin, Roxanne Kamayani Gupta, Jana M. Hawley, Jasbir Jain, Mohja Kahf, Laurene Lafontaine, Shireen Malik, Maliha Masood, Marjane Satrapi, Aisha Shaheed, Rita Stephan, Pamela K. Taylor, Ashraf Zahedi, Dinah Zeiger, and Sherifa Zuhur.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction I 1. From Her Royal Body the Robe Was Removed: The Blessings of the Veil and the Trauma of Forced Unveilings in the Middle East Mohja Kahf 2. Shattered Vessels That Contain Divine Sparks: Unveiling Hasidic Women's Dress Code Barbara Goldman Carrel 3. Going the Whole Nine Yards: Vignettes of the Veil in India Roxanne Kamayani Gupta 4. Out of the Cloister: Unveiling to Better Serve the Gospel Laurene M. Lafontaine 5. The Amish Veil: Symbol of Separation and Community Jana Hawley 6. "What is subordinated, dominates": Mourning, Magic, Masks, and Male Veiling Jennifer Heath 7. I Just Want to Be Me: Issues in Identity for One American Muslim Woman Pamela K. Taylor II 8. "She freed and floated on the air": Salome and Her Dance of the Seven Veils Shireen Malik 9. "He hath couerd my soule inwarde": Veiling in Medieval Europe and the Early Church Desiree G. Koslin 10. Nubo: The Wedding Veil Sarah C. Bell 11. After Eden: The Veil as a Conduit to the Internal Eve Grubin 12. Virtue and Sin: An Arab Christian Woman's Perspective Rita Stephan 13. Drawing the Line at Modesty: My Place in the Order of Things Michelle Auerbach 14. On the Road: Travels with My Hijab Maliha Masood III 15. Purdah, Patriarchy, and the Tropical Sun: Womanhood in India Jasbir Jain 16. The Veil: From Persepolis Marjane Satrapi 17. Concealing and Revealing Female Hair: Veiling Dynamics in Contemporary Iran Ashraf Zahedi 18. That (Afghan) Girl! Ideology Unveiled in National Geographic Dinah Zeiger 19. Burqas and Bikinis: Islamic Dress in Newspaper Cartoons Kecia Ali 20. Dress Codes and Modes: How Islamic Is the Veil? Aisha Shaheed 21. From Veil to Veil: "What's in a woman's head is more important than what's on it" Sherifa Zuhur Epilogue About the Contributors Index

About the Author

Jennifer Heath is the author of seven books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Scimitar and the Veil: Extraordinary Women of Islam, and her writing has appeared in numerous anthologies. She has traveled extensively throughout the Muslim world and is the founder of Seeds for Afghanistan and the Afghanistan Relief Organization Midwife Training and Infant Care program, now International Midwife Assistance.

Reviews

"Thoughtful [and] intelligent." The Times "This thought-provoking collection of essays goes far in moving the veil away from any singular interpretation or judgment." Daily Telegraph "Provie[s] a wide spectrum of views, traditions, feelings and issues related to the human practice of covering the head and hair." Bloomsbury Review "The approach chosen for this anthology-reflective, meditative broad, and under exclusively female authorship-is commendable and refreshing." Journal American Academy Of Religion/ Jaar "Groundbreaking." Wise (Women's Islamic Initiative In Spirituality And Equity) "A critical read for feminists and students of Women's Studies in the United States." Feminist Review

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