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A pregnant person is shown in a silhouette, with their hand resting above and below their extended abdomen.
Sacred Pregnancy: Building a Spiritual Community
May 09, 2024
We explore what is behind the new “sacred pregnancy movement” that mixes New Age practices, with religion and spirituality. We also look at the language used to frame and control pregnancy.
Anne W. Duncan, courtesy Goucher College
Sacred Pregnancy: Building a Spiritual Community May 09, 2024
Author Ann W. Duncan describes the “sacred pregnancy movement” and examines three major organizations involved. Their services range from sacred belly painting in luxurious retreat settings to helping process pregnancy loss.

Duncan outlines some of the criticism of sacred pregnancy services, including its domination by upper-middle-class white women, cultural appropriation, and the high cost of some services. She describes how the perception of the movement has changed since the overturning of Roe v. Wade.'

Ann W. Duncan, Ph.D., Susan D. Morgan professor of American Studies and Religion, is the author of Sacred Pregnancy: Birth, Motherhood, and the Quest for Spiritual Community from Fortress Press. Her research and teaching focus on the intersections of religion and public life, including religion and politics, new religious movements, the religious “nones” and motherhood, and American religion.
Samira Mehta. Photo courtesy University of Colorado at Boulder
Words Count: From "Woman" to "Mother," "Embryo" to "Child" May 09, 2024
Samira Mehta, an associate professor of women and gender studies and Jewish studies at the University of Colorado, discusses how words like “sacred,” “ensoulment,” “mother,” and “baby” have been used by both sides of the culture war over reproductive rights and how they have changed our perception of pregnancy.

Samira Mehta, Ph. D., is the Director of the Jewish Studies program at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She is currently a resident at Harvard Divinity School, working on a book about the religious battle over abortion.

Our closing music is New Hope, by Audiobinger,
used under a Creative Commons By Attribution 4.0 license.

Additional music by Blue Dot Session.