Vol. 1 (2005): Concepire Generare Nascere
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Sterilità e fecondità delle donne bibliche

Published November 1, 2005
How to Cite
Ventura Avanzinelli, M. (2005). Sterilità e fecondità delle donne bibliche. Storia Delle Donne, 1(1), 75-88. https://doi.org/10.13128/SDD-2025


In the Bible, many women are barren at first, and come to give birth to “important” sons only when they are advanced in years. Mothers’ infertility is a kind of theological topos, a recurrent theme both in Ancient and New Testament, and in some Apocryphal and Pseudoepigraphical Books as well. Starting from the Biblical narratives of Rachel and Leah (and Bilhah and Zilpah), Hannah and Peninah, Michal and Merab, and others named and anonimous female figures, this paper traces the various ways and means those women tried —or didn’t— in order to face the problem, in a society where sterility was nearly equated to death. Special attention is devoted to a Talmudic interpretation highlighting a healing image of “shared motherhood”.


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