Women and Families explores the complex roles of women in Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Each religion specifies a positive set of virtues, but these imply a negative set as well. If the virtuous woman is a faithful wife and a nurturing mother, then what does each religion say to a woman who remains celibate, childless, or unmarried? What about the circle beyond home and family? Five scholars draw out the ambiguity of women’s relation to religion and also explore how women attempt to shape their own lives as well as the larger public life.