Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Virtue and veiling: Perspectives from ancient to Abbasid times
by Dossani, Khairunessa, M.A., San Jose State University, 2013, 146; 1547087
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis establishes a link between conceptions of female virtue and the practice of veiling by women from ancient to medieval times in the Mediterranean region. This is evidenced by the consistent advocacy and prescription of veiling in ancient and medieval theological texts, including Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian, and Islamic texts. Veiling practices are shown to have a religious foundation, grounded in the ideas of honor and virtue. These notions were reflected in society over time with veiled aristocratic noblewomen and unveiled marginalized classes. While acknowledging class-based theories of female veiling, the thesis concentrates on the religious factors for veiling, particularly for medieval Muslim societies. The argument of this thesis is that while veiling did not originate in Islamic societies, Muslims validated the practice through their own literature and laws. The paper also includes evidence of female seclusion, which co-exists with the spread in the practice of veiling by women.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Roth, Jonathan
Commitee: Karim, Persis, PIckering, Mary
School: San Jose State University
Department: History
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 52/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Religious history, Womens studies, Ancient history
Keywords: Abbasid, Veiling of women, Virtue
Publication Number: 1547087
ISBN: 978-1-303-47938-0
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