Delaney, Carol (Lowery) 1940-

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DELANEY, Carol (Lowery) 1940-


Born December 12, 1940 in New York, NY; married David Bangs (divorced 1967), children: Elizabeth Lowery Bangs. Education: Harvard Divinity School, M.T.S., 1976, University of Chicago, M.A., 1978, Ph.D. (anthropology), 1984. Politics: Democrat.


Office—Bldg. 110, Room 112 O, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-2145. E-mail—[email protected].


Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions, Cambridge, MA, director, 1985-87; Stanford University, Stanford, CA, assistant professor, 1987-95, associate professor of cultural and social anthropology, 1995—.


American Anthropological Association, American Ethnological Society, American Academy of Religion, Middle East Studies Association.


Galler prize, University of Chicago, 1985; Fulbright advanced research fellowship, 1984-85.


The Seed and the Soil: Gender and Cosmology in Turkish Village Society, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1991.

(Editor, with Sylvia Yanagisako) Naturalizing Power: Essays in Feminist Cultural Analysis, Routledge (New York, NY), 1995.

Abraham on Trial: The Social Legacy of Biblical Myth, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1998.

The Seed and the Soil was translated into Turkish.


Investigating Culture: An Experiential Introduction to Anthropology, Blackwell (Malden, MA), 2004.


Carol Delaney, a member of the anthropology faculty at Stanford University, has devoted her scholarly attention to the relation between gender and religion. She is the author of The Seed and the Soil, an exploration of life in a Turkish village, based on her fieldwork in a relatively remote Turkish village between 1980 and 1982. She also coedited Naturalizing Power, a book of essays on feminist cultural interpretation.

In The Seed and the Soil Delaney examines the symbolic structures rooted beneath the village society of Gokler in Turkey, concluding that patriarchal norms are inextricable from the monotheistic beliefs of the people and necessary to community cohesiveness. She organized her study along such subject lines as kinship, social geography, gender, procreation, and marriage customs. In a favorable notice in the Whole Earth Review, Mira Zussman concluded The Seed and the Soil offers "more than the title implies."

Abraham on Trial: The Social Legacy of Biblical Myth, published in 1998, was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. In this study Delaney examines the myth of Abraham and its interpretation in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and traces the myth's effect on the development of notions of paternal authority. Arguing that the myth should no longer be perpetuated, Delaney supportes her conclusions by drawing on sources from anthropological, religious, and psychological literature. In Shofar Gerald T. Sheppard noted that "at her best, Delaney surveys much of the evidence of how the story has been interpreted within each of the three religions." A Library Journal reviewer concluded that Delaney's study "offers a thought-provoking argument."



Choice, July-August, 1992, M. M. J. Fischer, review of The Seed and the Soil: Gender and Cosmology in Turkish Village Society, p. 1719.

Library Journal, October 1, 1998, Augustine J. Curley, review of Abraham on Trial: The Social Legacy of Biblical Myth, pp. 95-96.

MAN, March, 1994, June Starr, review of The Seed and the Soil, pp. 229-230.

Shofar, fall, 2001, Gerald T. Sheppard, review of Abraham on Trial, p. 142.

Theological Studies, September, 1999, Edward M. O'Flaherty, review of Abraham on Trial, p. 541.

Whole Earth Review, summer, 1995, Mira Zussman, review of The Seed and the Soil, p. 33.


Stanford University Web site, (September 23, 2003).

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Delaney, Carol (Lowery) 1940-

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