Circumcision
(909 words)

Circumcision (Hebrew berit milah, Arabic khitān) is an ancient ritual, the origins of which are unclear, but which was adopted into the traditions of Jewish and Islamic faith practices. The ritual applies solely to males. In Judaism, circumcision represents the bond between the tribal ancestor Abraham and God (Gn 17, 10). Circumcision symbolizes belonging to the tribe and hence to the Jewish community, that is, the People of Israel. It should be performed on the eighth day of life, even if that day is the Shabbat (Gn 17, 12). From the start of the early modern period to t…

Cite this page
Jarzebowski, Claudia, “Circumcision”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 14 August 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_017528>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907



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