Religious Perspectives

Even for those who are not actively religious, nascent human life evokes awe and a sense of being in the presence of primal powers of creation. In the procreation of all species, from plants to domestic pets, religious consciousness often senses the divine at play in the natural. In human procreation in particular, human beings not only observe but also participate in that power, and by conceiving and giving birth humans play a small but profoundly personal role in creation.

There is little wonder, then, that for millennia, religious texts have spoken of human procreation with tones of wonder. In the Hebrew Scriptures, Psalm 139 reads in part:

For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance ... (Psalms 139:13-16a)

In ancient Hebrew thought, procreation is the realm of divine prerogative. The protracted struggle for monotheism is in part a rejection of the idea, probably widespread in the ancient world, that fertility is itself divine. Hebrew monotheism could not tolerate lesser gods, such as fertility. In the name of one God, the prophets insisted that though mysterious, fertility is one of many processes of nature entirely under God's control. Various forms of polytheism in the ancient world saw these processes as deities in themselves, often female, and the success of monotheism is in some respects a desacralization and a defeminization of these processes. But such a desacralization goes only so far. For the ancient Hebrew monotheist, the one supreme God is intimately and personally present in these processes, making them anything but merely natural.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

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