St. Olaf College | News

Benjamin earns NEH grant for research

BenjaminMara250x350St. Olaf College Assistant Professor of Religion Mara Benjamin has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to fund the research for her current project, titled Selves in Relation: Parental Obligation, Power, and Care in Jewish Theological Perspective.

The project develops a theological and philosophical perspective on parental caregiving to young children that draws on Jewish religious sources in particular. Benjamin will pay special attention to the experience of parental caregiving and its occlusion in the development of religious thought. She anticipates the project will result in a book on this same subject.

“I hope to bring more attention to gender and feminist issues in modern Jewish religious thought,” Benjamin says. “My field focuses largely on texts by elite men, and male researchers dominate the field. I am working on changing both of those things.”

The project will build on Benjamin’s previous work and her book, Rosenzweig’s Bible: Reinventing Scripture for Jewish Modernity, but will bring a specifically feminist angle to the question of how religious thinkers accommodate pressures of modernity.