Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religion & Culture / Religious Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Lawrence Toombs

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


In this thesis I discuss E.M. Broner’s novel A Weave of Women and show how she uses innovative rituals of status elevation and status reversal to focus her reader’s attention on the problems associated with the patriarchal structures of traditional Judaism, e.g., racism and religious chauvinism. In Part One I provide a description of contemporary feminist rituals to set Broner’s novel into context. Part Two is an exposition of the text of her novel comparing its feminist rites to various Jewish prayer books and descriptions of traditional Jewish rituals. In my conclusion I offer a critique of the novel. I consider the problems Broner encounters by using traditional ritual forms to develop or celebrate her feminist themes and I discuss whether or not the rites she creates and performs are best described as Jewish or simply feminist. I also suggest that her concept of “a weave of women” is an expression of the “communal mysticism” which Carol Christ (1980) refers to as a typical element in contemporary feminist literature.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season