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“Be fruitful and multiply.” According to the book of Genesis, these are the first words God speaks to humanity. People have understood these words over the centuries as a commandment to procreate, and the ability to bear and raise children has been understood as a divine blessing. But what about people who can’t bear children due to biology or circumstance?
Biblical scholars Candida Moss and Joel Baden teamed up to write a book about the different views on infertility and families found in the Bible. From the apparently barren matriarchs of the Old Testament like Sarah and Rachel to Paul’s efforts to forge a new family in Christ, biblical views are more diverse than you might expect. Moss and Baden tell the story in their book Reconceiving Infertility: Biblical Perspectives on Procreation and Childlessness. Not only do they clarify ancient perspectives on infertility, they also provide ways to create a more supportive religious environment for women and men experiencing infertility today.
About the Guests
Candida R. Moss is professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame. Joel S. Baden is professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School. Together they wrote the book Reconceiving Infertility: Biblical Perspectives on Procreation and Childlessness (Princeton University Press, 2015).
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