Unborn Bodies: Resurrection and Reproductive Agency

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$28.00  $26.04
Fortress Press
Publish Date
5.6 X 8.6 X 1.0 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Margaret Kamitsuka is the Francis W. and Lydia L. Davis Professor Emeritus of Religion at Oberlin College, Ohio. She is the author of Unborn Bodies (2023), Abortion and the Christian Tradition (2019), and Feminist Theology and the Challenge of Difference (2007). She edited The Embrace of Eros: Bodies, Desires, and Sexuality in Christianity (2010) and is coeditor of The T & T Clark Reader in Abortion and Religion (2023). She has published widely, including in The Oxford Handbook of Theology, Sexuality and Gender, Journal of Religious Ethics, Journal for the Feminist Study of Religion, Theology Today, and Christianity and Literature. She serves in public-facing forums as an expert on issues of reproductive ethics and abortion.


Conceived with care and delivered with wisdom, Unborn Bodies: Resurrection and Reproductive Agency does more than fill a gap in feminist theology. It articulates an enlivening alternative to the caricatures of miscarriage and abortion. Its delightful prose carries its courageous and all-too-timely message to a wide Christian public. --Catherine Keller, George T. Cobb Professor of Constructive Theology, Drew Theological School, and author of Facing Apocalypse: Climate, Democracy, and Other Last Chances

Neither miscarriage nor the exercise of moral agency to end a pregnancy precludes eschatological longing for reunion with persons that never came to be in this world. Kamitsuka reclaims the neglected Pauline metaphor of bodily resurrection as new life sprouting from a seed of the old, providing a nontoxic eschatology that can speak to reproductive loss. This book engages submerged knowledges and experiences to shift the entire framework of the discussions it enters, and the result is compelling and healing. --Sandra Sullivan-Dunbar, Loyola University, Chicago

Every now and then a book appears that reshapes the entire discipline of theology. Kamitsuka gifts readers with just such a work. Kamitsuka challenges readers to reconsider what it means to be a self in the afterlife, no matter at what point mortal existence ended. She resists convenient categories while maintaining a steady grasp on Christian tradition and justice. At once prophetic, provocative, and pastoral, Kamitsuka blends together an incisive knowledge of Christianity's two-thousand-year history with feminist analysis and scientific facts to challenge readers to reconceptualize their understanding of what happens in the liminal spaces of pregnancy loss, abortion, and the afterlife. --Danielle Tumminio Hansen, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

In poetic prose, Margaret Kamitsuka develops an eschatology that ventures where the traditional imaginary of resurrected life refuses to go. Taking her interpretive cues not from Aristotelian soul-body talk but instead from the materialist sensibilities of evolutionary biology, she offers the prospect of a heavenly life in which the unborn flourish bodily as undiminished participants in eternal joy. Creative and caring, Kamitsuka's theology offers hope and consolation to those who have suffered reproductive loss and affirmation for reproductive decision-making. --John E. Thiel, Fairfield University