Circumcision: A History of the World's Most Controversial Surgery

By David L. Gollaher | Go to book overview

THREE
Symbolic Wounds

The mutilation of the genitals among the various savage tribes of the world presents a strange and unaccountable practice of human ideas, which one is not able to reconcile with any reasoning power. Why such customs should be in vogue none can tell at the present time; but we must suppose that at some period they had their significance, which in the course of ages has been lost, and the practice has been handed down from generation to generation. -- J. Henry C. Simes, Circumcision ( 1890)

THE LATE FIFTEENTH CENTURY SAW THE DAWNING OF THE AGE OF DISCOVERY, A time when European adventurers circumnavigated the globe, exploring the coasts and rivers of Africa, pushing deep into the Americas, and confronting exotic cultures no European had ever seen. Ships returning from their years at sea brought strange reports from explorers, traders, missionaries, and later, colonial administrators. Inexplicably, it came to light that tribes in remote parts of the world -- Africa, the Americas, Australia, and Indonesia -- performed a bewildering variety of circumcisionlike surgeries on both males and females. In males, these operations ranged from nicking or trimming off just the tip of the foreskin to a disfiguring mutilation that involved cutting the underside of the penis through the urethra all the way from the meatus to the scrotum.

What could explain these far-flung rituals? European travelers' first impulse was to assume that primitive folk in strange lands must have shared a common ancestry with the Jews. If the origins of humankind, as the Bible taught, traced from Adam through Noah and his sons, perhaps remote tribes

-53-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Circumcision: A History of the World's Most Controversial Surgery
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Preface xi
  • One - The Jewish Tradition 1
  • Two - Christians and Muslims 31
  • Three - Symbolic Wounds 53
  • Four - From Ritual to Science 73
  • Five - The Fabric of the Foreskin 109
  • Six - Circumcision and Disease: the Quest for Evidence 125
  • Seven - Backlash 161
  • Eight - Female Circumcision 187
  • Appendix - Evaluative Research and the Nature of Medical Evidence 209
  • Notes 213
  • Index 241
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 253

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.