Women’s Moral Agency and the Politics of Religion in the Gaza Strip
Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza New Scholar Award First-Place Winner
This essay analyzes empirical data compiled in the Gaza Strip between November 2011 and March 2012. The author examines how Nariman, an Islamist woman who at the time of the interviews on which this article is based held a powerful position in both the Hamas government and the local community, connects her ideal virtues to her social and political practices and how this dynamic contributes to developing a more articulated, critical, and creative form of agency. Although the model of moral agency developed in this essay does not claim to deconstruct discursive gender norms, it resignifies these norms from the social and cultural domain to the divine domain (in other words, women act as equal agents of God and do not fear anyone except God), which allows Nariman to liberate herself from the control of the discursive gender norms.
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