by Kathleen O'Grady

Department of Religious Studies
University of Calgary

See also related sections "Anthropology" and "General" in Paula Wansbrough and Kathleen O'Grady, Menstruation: A List of Sources

Organized by culture and/or geographical region:


Gross, Rita M., "Menstruation and Childbirth as Ritual and Religious
Experience among Native Australians", pp. 277-292 in Nancy Auer Falk and Rita
 M. Gross (eds.), Unspoken Worlds: Women's Religious Lives in Non-Western
 Cultures.  San Francisco: Harper and Row.


van Beek, Walter E. A., "Becoming Human in Dogon, Mali", pp. 46-70 in Goran
Aijmer  (ed.), Coming Into Existence: Birth and Metaphors of Birth.
Goteborg, Sweden: IASSA, 1992.
La Fontaine, J. S., "Ritualization in Women's Life-Crises in Bugisu", pp.
 157-185 in J. S. La Fontaine (ed.), The Interpretation of Ritual: Essays
 in Honour of A. I. Richards.  London: Tavistock, 1972.
Nabofa, M. Y., "Blood Symbolism in African Religion",  Religious Studies
21, pp. 389-405.
Odouyoye, M., "Naming the Woman: the Words of the Akan and the Words of the
Bible", Bulletin de Th=E9ologie Africaine 3,5: pp. 81-97.

Ancient Women

King, Helen, "Bound to Bleed: Artemis and Greek Women", pp. 109-127 in Averil
Cameron and Am=E9lie Kuhrt (eds.), Images of Women in Antiquity.  London:
Crook Helm, 1983.
Major primary texts: Aristotle, The Generation of Animals (Book II, 3+4;
Book IV, 1+2; specifically 727b; 726b-731b; 775b-778a); Pliny, The Natural
History of Pliny (Book VII, XV; Book XXVIII, XXIII); Josephus, The Jewish War
(Book V, 222-22) and Jewish Antiquities (Book III, 261-275).


Furth, Charlotte and Ch'en Shu-Yueh, "Chinese Medicine and the Anthropology of
Menstruation in Contemporary Taiwan", Medical Anthropology Quarterly 6, 1
(March 1992): pp. 27-48.
Momoko, Takemi, "Menstruation Sutra Belief in Japan", Japanese Journal of
 Religious Studies 10, 2-3 (1983): pp. 229-245.
Reed, Barbara E., "The Gender Symbolism of Kuan-yin Bodhisattva" (see section:
"Symbol of Liberation from Women's Suffering"), pp. 159-165 in Jos=E9=
 Ignacio Cabez=F3n (ed.), Buddhism, Sexuality, and Gender.  New York: SUNY.


Ahern, Emily M., "The Power and Pollution of Chinese Women", pp. 269-290
in Arthur P. Wolf (ed.), Studies in Chinese Society.  Stanford, California:
Stanford University Press, 1978.


Amoah, Elizabeth, "On Being Near the Fire", The Witness 68, 12 (December)
: p.19.
Hartman, Louis F. (ed.), "Menstruation", in Encyclopedic Dictionary of the
Bible.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963.
Park, Sun Ai, "Religion and Menstruation", pp. 12-18 in Stella Faria et al.
(eds.), The Emerging Christian Woman: Church and Society Perspectives.
  Indore: Satprakashan Sanchar Kendra, 1984.
Phipps, William E., "The Menstrual Taboo in the Judeo-Christian Tradition",
Journal of Religion and Health 19, 4 (Winter 1980): pp. 298-303.
Ruether, Rosemary Radford, "Women's Body and Blood: The Sacred and the Impure",
 pp. 7-21 in Alison Joseph (ed.), Through the Devil's Gateway: Women,
Religion and Taboo.  London: SPCK, 1990.
Selvidge, Marla J., "Mark 5:25-34 and Leviticus 15:19-20: A Reaction to
Restrictive Purity Regulations", Journal of Biblical Literature 103 (December
1984): pp. 619-623.
Soskice, Janet Martin, "Blood and Defilement", European Theology, Heft 2,
 Tubingen 1994.
Major primary texts: Bible: Old Testament: Leviticus 15; New Testament: Mark
5:25;  Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica Pt. III Q. 31 Art. 5; and Q.64
Art 3-4. Suppl;


Apffel-Marglin, Frederique, "The Sacred Groves", Manushi 82 (May/June 1994):
pp. 22-32.
Chawla, Janet, "The Rig Vedic Slaying of Vrtra: Menstruation Taboos in
Mythology", Manushi 68 (Jan.-Feb. 1992): pp. 29-34.
Ferro-Luzzi, G. Eichinger, "Food Avoidances at Puberty and Menstruation in
Tamilnad: An Anthropological Study", pp. 93-100 in J. R. K. Robson (ed.),
Food, Ecology and Culture: Readings in the Anthropology of Dietary Practices.
 New York: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, 1980.
Walker, Benjamin (ed.), "Menstruation", pp. 61-63 in The Hindu World: An
Encyclopedic Survey of Hinduism.  New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1968.
Major primary texts: Law Book of Manu (see 4.41; 5.66).


Engineer, Asghar Ali (ed.), pp. 38-41 in Status of Women in Islam.  Delhi
: Ajanta Publications, 1987.
Fischer, Michael M., pp. 204-206 of "Persian Women", in Lois Beck and Nikki
Keddie (eds.), Women in the Muslim World.  Cambridge: Harvard University
Press, 1978.
Major primary texts: Qur'an 2:223.


Antonelli, Judith S., "Menstruation", pp. 276-287 in In the Image of God:
 A Feminist Commentary on the Torah.  London: Jason Aronson, 1995.
Archer, L=E9onie J., "'In Thy Blood Live': Gender and Ritual in the Judeo
-Christian Tradition", pp. 22-49 in Alison Joseph (ed.), Through the Devil's
Gateway: Women, Religion and Taboo.  London: SPCK, 1990.
Archer, L=E9onie J., "Bound by Blood: Circumcision and Menstrual Taboo in
 Post-Exilic Judaism", pp. 38-61 in Janet Martin Soskice (ed.), After Eve
: Women, Theology and the Christian Tradition.  London: Marhsall Pickering,
Baker, Adrienne, "The Marital Relationship and the Laws of Family Purity
(Taharat Ha Mischpachaah)", pp. 155-157 in The Jewish Woman in Contemporary
Society.  New York: New York University Press, 1993.
Bleich, J. David, "Survey of Recent Halakhic Periodical Literature", Tradition:
 A Journal of Orthodox Thought 21, 4 (Fall 1985): pp. 56-72.
Cohen, Shaye J. D., "Purity and Piety: The Separation of Menstruants from
 the Sancta", pp. 103-115 in Susan Grossman and Rivka Haut (eds.), Daughters
of the King: Women and the Synagogue.  New York: Jewish Publication Society,
Delaney, Janice, Mary Jane Lupton, and Emily Toth, "Woman Unclean: Menstrual
Taboos in Judaism and Christianity", pp. 33-39 in The Curse: A Cultural
History of Menstruation.  New York: E.P. Dutton, 1976.
Englard-Schaffer, Naomi Y., "Review Essay on Blu Greenberg's On Women and
 Judaism: A View from Tradition", Tradition 21, 2 (Summer 1983): pp. 132-145.
Hinnells, John R. (ed.), "Menstruation", p. 210 in The Facts on File
Dictionary of Religions.  New York: Facts on File, 1984.
Jacobs, Louis (ed.), "Menstruation", p. 342 in The Jewish Religion: A
Companion.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.
Neusner, Jacob, "From Scripture to Mishnah: The Origins of Tractate Niddah",
Journal of Jewish Studies 29 (1978): pp. 135-148.
Wasserfall, Rahel, "Menstruation and Identity: The Meaning of Niddah for
Moroccan Women Immigrants to Israel", pp. 309-327 in Howard Eilberg-Schwartz
(ed.), People of the Body: Jews and Judaism from an Embodied Perspective.
New York: SUNY, 1992.
Weissler, Chava, "Mizvot Built into the Body: Tkhines for Niddah, Pregnancy,
and Childbirth", pp. 101-115 in Howard Eilberg-Schwartz (ed.), People
 of the Body: Jews and Judaism from an Embodied Perspective.  New York: SUNY,
Wigoder, Geoffrey (ed.), "Niddah", pp. 524-525 in The Encyclopedia of Judaism.
 New York: Macmillan, 1989.
Major primary texts: Torah: Leviticus 15:19; Leviticus 18:19; The Mishnah:
Tractate Niddah; The Tosefta: Sixth Division, Tohorot: Niddah; Talmud of
Babylonia: Bavli Tractate Niddah; Talmud of the Land of Israel: Niddah.

Latin America

Beyene, Yewoubdar, From Menarche to Menopause: Reproductive Lives of Peasant
Women in Two Cultures.  1989.
Molina, Anatilde Idoyaga, "The Myth of Nesoge: Hermenuetic Analysis of a
Pilaga Relation", Latin American Indian Literatures Journal 1, 1(Spring 1985):
pp. 1-12.


Camp, Cheryl, "A Female Initiation Rite in the Neigrie Area", pp. 68-83 in
Norman C. Habel (ed.), Powers, Plumes, and Piglets: Phenomena of Melanesian
Religion.  Bedford Park, South Australia: Australian Association for
 the Study of Religions, 1979.
Carsten, Janet, "The Process of Childbirth and Becoming Related among Malays
in Pulau Langkawi", pp. 20-46 in Goran Aijmer (ed.), Coming Into Existence:
Birth and Metaphors of Birth.  Goteborg, Sweden: IASSA, 1992.
Kigasung, Wesley, "The Value of Bukawa Initiation", Point: Forum for
Melanesian Affairs 7, 2 (1978): pp.128-139.
Lutkehaus, Nancy C., "Gender Metaphors: Female Rituals as Cultural Models
 in Manam", pp. 182-204 in Nancy C. Lutkehaus and Paul B. Roscoe (eds.),
Gender Rituals: Female Initiation in Melanesia.  New York: Routledge, 1995.
Roscoe, Paul B., "The Narandauwa Rites", pp. 59-66 in Nancy C. Lutkehaus
and Paul B. Roscoe (eds.), Gender Rituals: Female Initiation in Melanesia.
New York: Routledge, 1995.

Native American

Powers, Marla N., "Menstruation and Reproduction: An Oglala Case", Signs:
 Journal of Women in Culture and Society 6, 1 (Autumn 1980): 54-65.
Scully, Virginia, "Women's Problems", pp. 287-288 in A Treasury of American
Indian Herbs: Their Lore and Their Use for Food, Drugs, and Medicine.
 New York: Crown Publishers, 1970.
Major primary texts: Black Elk, The Sacred Pipe, pp. 116-126, Joseph Epes
 Brown (ed.).


Smyers, Karen A., "Women and Shinto: The Relation Between Purity and
Pollution", Japanese Religions 12, 4 (July 1983): 7-18.


Balzer, Marjorie Mandelstam, "Rituals of Gender Identity: Markers of Siberian
Khanty Ethnicity, Status, and Belief", American Anthropologist 83, 4
 (1981): pp. 850-867.

Sri Lanka

Winslow, Deborah, "Rituals of First Menstruation in Sri Lanka", Man: The
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 15 (1980): 603-625.


Culpepper, Emily E., "Zoroastrian Menstruation Taboos: A Women's Studies
Perspective", pp. 199-210 in Judith Plaskow and Joan Arnold Romero (eds.),
Women and Religion: Papers of the Working Group on Women and Religion 1972-73.
 American Academy of Religion and Scholars Press, 1974.


Bonnerjea, Biren (ed.), "Menstruation", p. 165 in A Dictionary of
Superstitions and Mythology.  London: Folk Press, 1969.
Buckley, Thomas and Alma Gottlieb, Blood Magic: The Anthropology of
Menstruation.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.
Carlo, Wanda, "Riding a White Horse with a Red Saddle: Women's Folklore",
 Louisianna Folklore Miscellany 6, 2 (1986-87): pp. 44-48.
Downing, Christine, "Come and Celebrate with Me", Anima: An Experimental
Journal of Celebration 9, 1 (Fall 1982): pp.11-27.  (Personal reflections
 on menopause).
Frazer, Sir James, The New Golden Bough.  Theodor H. Gaster (ed.).  New York:
Criterion, 1959 ed.  See section 489: "The Taboos Imposed on Girls at Puberty"
(pp. 584-587); section 165-170: "Taboo and the Perils of the Soul"
(pp. 166-175).
Grahn, Judy, Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World.
  Boston: Beacon, 1993.
Kitahara, Michio, "Menstrual Taboos and the Importance of Hunting", American
Anthropologist 84, 4 (December 1982): pp. 901-903.
Knight, Chris, Blood Relations: Menstruation and the Origins of Culture.
 London: Yale University Press, 1991.
Logan, Deana Dorman, "The Menarche Experience in Twenty-Three Foreign
Countries", Adolescence 15, 57 (Spring 1980): pp. 247-256.
Montogomery, Rita E., "A Cross-Cultural Study of Menstruation, Menstrual
Taboos, and Related Social Variables", Ethos 2, 1 (Spring 1974): pp. 137-170.
M=FCller, Max F. (ed.), "Woman", pp. 648-654 in The Sacred Books of the East.
Clarendon, 1910; Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1966.
Newman, Joan, "Preserving the Status Quo: The Folklore of Women", Australian
Folklore: A Yearly Journal 1 (March 1987): pp. 5-24.
O'Grady, Kathleen and Paula Wansbrough, Sweet Secrets: Stories of Menstruation.
  Toronto: Second Story Press, 1997.
O'Grady, Kathleen, "Menstruation" in Women and World Religions.  Serinity
 Young et al. (eds.).  New York: Macmillan, (forthcoming) 1998-9.
O'Grady, Kathleen and Paula Wansbrough, "Menstruation" in A Reader's Guide
to Women's Studies.  Chicago: Fitzroy-Dearborn, forthcoming 1998.
O'Grady, Kathleen, "Blood and Chestnuts", pp. 121-124 in Jo-Anne Elder and
Colin O'Connell (eds.), Voices and Echoes: Canadian Women's Spirituality.
Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1997.
Opie, Iona and Moira Tatem, "Menstruating Woman", p. 247 in A Dictionary
of Superstitions.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
Paige, Karen Ericksen and Jeffery M. Paige, "Menstrual Restrictions and Sex
Segregation Practices", pp. 208-254 in The Politics of Reproductive Ritual.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981.
Peters, F. E., "The Menstruant", pp. 731-734 in Judaism, Christianity, and
Islam: The Classical Texts and Their Interpretation.  Princeton: Princeton
University Press.
Sommer, Barbara, "Menstruation", pp. 231-234 in Helen Tierney (ed.), Women's
Studies Encyclopedia I.  London: Greenwood Press, 1989.
Tuttle, Lisa (ed.), "Menstruation", p. 203 in The Encyclopedia of Feminism.
New York: Facts on File Publications, 1986.
Walker, Barbara, "Menstruation" in The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and
Secrets.  New Jersey: Castle Books, 1983.
Wansbrough, Paula, "Sweet Secrets: Researching and Writing on the Internet"
in Resources for Feminist Research, forthcoming summer 1998.

This bibliography is by no means complete. Please send any edits or additions to kogrady @ ucalgary.ca and I will attempt to make regular updates.

Kathleen O'Grady
Department of Religious Studies
University of Calgary
Social Sciences 1322
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4

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