Islam and Assisted Reproductive Technologies: Sunni and Shia Perspectives (Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality)

How and to what extent have Islamic legal scholars and Middle Eastern lawmakers, as well as Middle Eastern Muslim physicians and patients, grappled with the complex bioethical, legal and social issues that are raised in the process of attempting to conceive life in the face of infertility? This path-breaking volume explores the influence of Islamic attitudes on assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) and reveals the variations in both the Islamic jurisprudence and the cultural responses to ARTs.



Glossary of Arabic, Farsi and Turkish Terms

Introduction: Islam and Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Soraya Tremayne and Marcia C. Inhorn

Part I:  Islamic Legal Thought and ARTs: Marriage, Morality, and Clinical Conundrums

Frank Griffel

Chapter 1. Constructing Kinship in Sunni Islamic Legal Texts
Thomas Eich

Chapter 2. Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) and Assisted Reproduction: Establishing Limits to Avoid Social Disorders
Sandra Houot

Chapter 3. Controversies in Islamic Evaluation of Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Farouk Mahmoud

Part II. From Sperm Donation to Stem Cells: The Iranian ART Revolution

Narges Erami

Chapter 4. More than Fatwas: Ethical Decision Making in Iranian Fertility Clinics
Robert Tappan

Chapter 5. The “Down Side” of Gamete Donation: Challenging “Happy Family” Rhetoric in Iran
Soraya Tremayne

Chapter 6. Gestational Surrogacy in Iran: Uterine Kinship in Shia Thought and Practice
Shirin Garmaroudi

Chapter 7. Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research in Iran: The Significance of the Islamic Context
Mansooreh Saniei

Part III. Islamic Biopolitics and the “Modern” Nation-state: Comparative Case Studies of ART

Sean Brotherton

Chapter 8. Third-Party Reproductive Assistance around the Mediterranean: Comparing Sunni Egypt, Catholic Italy, and Multisectarian Lebanon
Marcia C. Inhorn, Pasquale Patrizio and Gamal I. Serour

Chapter 9. Islamic Bioethics and Religious Politics in Lebanon: On Hizbullah and ARTs
Morgan Clarke

Chapter 10. Assisted Reproduction in Secular Turkey:Regulation, Rhetoric, and the Role of Religion
Zeynep Gürtin-Broadbent

Notes on Contributors

Book Reviews

SONJA LUEHRMANN, Simon Fraser University (Canada), European Association of Social Anthropologists, 1993, pp. 584-585 (PDF)

RANIA KASSAB SWEIS, University of Richmond, in American Ethnologist, Volume 41 Number 1 February 2014 (PDF)

This groundbreaking volume is highly likely to become a point of departure for all future engagements with biotechnologies in the Middle East. The collection expertly reveals in vivid detail the local moral worlds of biotechnologies of life within the Islamic landscape. Unprecedented and unique, this book challenges both popular misconceptions and academic gaps in knowledge vis-à-vis new developments in bioscience and technology from theocratic Iran to secular Turkey.

–Aditya Bharadwaj, University of Edinburgh


Marcia C. Inhorn is the William K. Lanman, Jr. Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs in the Department of Anthropology and The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. She is the author of The New Arab Man: Emergent Masculinities, Technologies, and Islam in the Middle East (2012), Local Babies, Global Science: Gender, Religion, and In Vitro Fertilization in Egypt (2003), Infertility and Patriarchy: The Cultural Politics of Gender and Family Life in Egypt (1996), and Quest for Conception: Gender, Infertility, and Egyptian Medical Traditions (1994).

Soraya Tremayne is the Founding Director of The Fertility and Reproduction Studies Group and a Research Associate at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford. Her publications include Managing Reproductive Life: Cross-Cultural Themes in Fertility and Sexuality (ed., 2001); Women As Sacred Custodians of the Earth? Women, Spirituality and the Environment (co-ed. with A. Low, 2001); Fertility and Reproduction, special issue of Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford (guest ed., 2000); Fatness and the Maternal Body: Women’s Experiences of Corporeality and the Shaping of Social Policy (co-ed. with Unnithan-Kumar, 2011).