Within the critical, comparative, and historical study of sacred texts, many excellent studies have been undertaken which offer hermeneutical analyses of sacred texts to retrieve information about their models of and for gender. In religiously engaged ways, religious specialists have produced highly systematic, literary, and otherwise creative rereadings of their foundational texts in order to reposition the gender norms of their tradition. What critical and religiously engaged scholarship still needs to address is if or how the material and sensory aspects of sacred texts matter to how religious people perform and understand gender – how they regulate, entangle, occlude, tolerate and/or even subvert. This special issue of Postscripts therefore calls for proposals of articles that analyse the interaction between the material, performative, and sensory aspects of sacred texts and gender.

The special issue of Postscripts welcomes analyses of sacred texts and gender in any kind and type of religion or religiosity – be they based on a historical or contemporary, comparative or in-depth study. Similarly, broad definitions are implied to include such breadth. The special issue understands “sacred” as anything immanent and/or transcendent that is set apart from the profane and considered to manifest some kind of trans-empirical agency. “Text” is understood in close affinity to its derivative, ‘texture’, as words woven together. Accordingly, a sacred text need not be written down as long as its phonetic components are woven together in recognisable sequences and as such detectable to the senses. “Gender” may be approached as something of, in between, and/or beyond the binary of male and female; as biologically given, culturally constructed and/or an immanent process of constant becoming.

The journal Postscripts represents a move in the study of sacred texts to supplement hermeneutical and semantic studies with reflections on their artefactual functions, as related to their performative and iconic dimensions. Acceptance to this special issue of Postscripts will therefore depend on the following:

  • An empirical focus not on the semantic content, but the accessibility, materiality, and embodied handling and/or performance of sacred texts and how such factors affect gender;
  • A consciousness about the theoretical point of departure and its methodological consequences when addressing the interaction between the material and sensory aspects of sacred texts and gender.


The special issue of Postscripts on sacred texts and gender is scheduled to be the first issue of 2023, to be followed by a book-version, published by Equinox, usually a year later. If interested, please submit a proposal of 500 words to Dr. Marianne Schleicher at [email protected] no later than the 14th of October 2021. Article drafts of 8000 words must be submitted to the same address by the 1st of September 2022.