Religion Past and Present

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(377 words)

[German Version]

(from the perspective of religious studies). In many religious systems, the experiencing of menstruation, pregnancy, and birth is linked to the cosmic forces of renewal and transformation as well as to the lunar cycle (Moon). Ambivalent attitudes towards blood, which may be life-giving and holy on the one hand or unclean (Pure and impure), dangerous, and a symbol of death on the other, are mirrored in the partly contradictory effects that are ascribed to menstrual blood.

In so-called tribal religions, rites of initiation (Rites of passage) performed arou…

Cite this page
Franke, Edith, “Menstruation”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 08 May 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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