The Soul of the Stranger

Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Joy Ladin
HBI Series on Jewish Women
  • Chicago, IL: 
    University of Chicago Press
    , November
     208 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Reading some of the best-known Torah stories through the lens of transgender experience, Joy Ladin explores fundamental questions about how religious texts, traditions, and the understanding of God can be enriched by transgender perspectives, and how the Torah and trans lives can illuminate one another. Drawing on her own experience and lifelong reading practice, Ladin shows how the Torah, a collection of ancient texts that assume human beings are either male or female, speaks both to practical transgender concerns, such as marginalization, and to the challenges of living without a body or social role that renders one intelligible to others—challenges that can help us understand a God who defies all human categories. These creative, evocative readings transform our understanding of the Torah’s portrayals of God, humanity, and relationships between them.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Joy Ladin is Professor of English at Yeshiva University.


Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.