Nathan P. Devir Publishes “African Judaizing Movements and the Question of Polygamy: Perspectives from Cameroon.”
Nathan P. Devir recently published an article entitled “African Judaizing Movements and the Question of Polygamy: Perspectives from Cameroon” in the Journal of the Middle East and Africa, the flagship publication of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa.
The article examines the theological, cultural, and sociohistorical underpinnings of the custom of polygamy as it is practiced among so-called “Judaizing” or “neo-Jewish” movements in rural Cameroon. As a case study of one of the rarely discussed ideological points of contention between such Sub-Saharan African communities and the Global Northern Jewish communities that sponsor, support, or encourage them, the essay analyzes how neo-Jewish perspectives surrounding the practice of polygamy can help to illustrate the myriad ways in which normative, modern-day Jewish practices are sometimes inherently contradictory to accepted notions of propriety held by members of emerging Jewish communities from the Global South.
Nathan P. Devir is assistant professor of Jewish Studies in the Department of World Languages and Cultures and the Interim Director of the Middle East Center.