The Female Face of God in Auschwitz: A Jewish Feminist Theology of the Holocaust

By Melissa Raphael | Go to book overview
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Warm thanks are owed to Ursula King and Rita Gross who invited me to contribute this book to the Routledge series of studies in Religion and Gender, and to Roger Thorpe and Clare Johnson at Routledge for bringing this book to publication. I would also like to thank Fred Hughes and Peter Scott in the University of Gloucestershire’s School of Theology and Religious Studies for agreeing the periods of research leave which allowed me time to prepare substantial parts of the manuscript. I am grateful to Ursula King, Stephen Barton, Janet Soskice, Pam Lunn, Sue Morgan, Lisa Isherwood, Beverly Clack, Peggy Morgan and Keith Ward, Kevin Scott, Susan Frank Parsons, and Margie Tolstoy whose invitations to lecture on my research have given me opportunities to present and discuss the work in stimulating company. Carol Christ and Dee Carter have also offered critical insight and friendship. I have greatly valued my father, Arnold Raphael’s, interest in the progress and argument of the book. He, and Dee Carter, Sue Morgan, Beryl Francis, Una Blackmore and Harry Cowen have all generously supplied me with related books, newspaper cuttings and articles over several years. I am also grateful to my sister, Caroline, for not letting me visit Auschwitz alone, to artist and friend David Behar-Perahia for reworking part of his sculptural installation in the restored synagogue in Chania, Crete, into the enigmatic image of a mikvah that graces the cover of this book and to the members of the Women’s Association of the Cheltenham Synagogue for their warm interest in this study. Above all, I owe immeasurable thanks to my daughter Verity for her ready understanding of the demands of academic life, and to my husband Michael for his emotional, intellectual and practical support throughout.

Parts of this book have been published in earlier and different forms. An earlier version of ‘The Princess and the City of Death’ was appended to my ‘When God Beheld God, Notes Towards a Jewish Feminist Theology of the Holocaust’, Feminist Theology 21 (1999), pp. 53-78, reproduced by permission of Sheffield Academic Press Limited. Parts of Chapter 1 appeared in a shorter form in ‘Is Patriarchal Theology Still Patriarchal? Reading Theologies of the Holocaust from a Jewish Feminist Perspective’, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 18 (2002), pp. 105-13; parts of Chapter 3 appears in ‘Holiness in Extremis: Jewish Women’s Resistance to the Profane in Auschwitz’ in Stephen Barton (ed.), Holiness Past and Present,


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