Dr. Kristine Garroway's "Children in the Ancient Near Eastern Household"

Monday, November 17, 2014


Children were an important part of the ancient Near Eastern household. This idea seems straightforward, but it can be understood in many ways. On a basic level, children are necessary for the perpetuation of a household. On a deeper level, the definitions of child and member of the household are far from categorical.

Dr. Kristine Garroway's Children in the Ancient Near Eastern Household (Eisenbrauns, 2014) explores the multiple definitions of child and the way the child fits within a household. Dr. Garroway, who serves as Visiting Assistant Professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, examines what membership in the household looks like for children and what factors contribute to it. A study addressing what a child is and how a child's gender and social status affect her place in the household is vital to a proper understanding of the ancient Near Eastern household.

Despite their importance, children have long been marginalized in discussions of ancient societies. Only recently has this trend begun to change within biblical and ancient Near Eastern scholarship. A recent wave of studies, especially in relation to the Hebrew Bible, has started to address children in their own right. In light of the current state of scholarship on children, the purpose of this book is threefold. First, Garroway continues to fill out the picture of the child in the ancient Near East by compiling child-centric texts and archaeological realia. In analyzing these materials, she surveys the relationship between children and ancient Near Eastern society by examining the extent to which structuring forces in a community, such as social status and gender, contribute to the process of a child's becoming a member of his household and society. Finally, this information provides a base for future research, for example, a cross-cultural study of children in the ancient Near East in Classical Antiquity. Read more >

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu