The Soul of the Stranger

Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective

Joy Ladin

Reading some of the best-known Torah stories through the lens of transgender experience, Joy Ladin explores fundamental questions about how religious texts, traditions, and the understanding of God can be enriched by transgender perspectives, and how the Torah and trans lives can illuminate one another. Drawing on her own experience and lifelong reading practice, Ladin shows how the Torah, a collection of ancient texts that assume human beings are either male or female, speaks both to practical transgender concerns, such as marginalization, and to the challenges of living without a body or social role that renders one intelligible to others—challenges that can help us understand a God who defies all human categories. These creative, evocative readings transform our understanding of the Torah’s portrayals of God, humanity, and relationships between them.

Paper: $29.95 | E-book: $28.99
ISBN-13: 9781512602937
Pages: 208 | Size: 6 in. x 9 in.
Date Published: November 20, 2018


  • Breathtakingly new and challenging ideas are expressed in lovely, accessible prose. Treat yourself to this gem.

    Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual

About the Author

Joy Ladin

Joy Ladin is a widely published essayist and poet, literary scholar, and nationally known speaker on transgender issues. From 2003 to 2021, she held the David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University; her gender transition and return to teaching in 2008 made her the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution.

Joy is the author of twelve books, including the National Jewish Book Award-winning revised second edition of …

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