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Question #17321 posted on 08/08/2005 3:13 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm looking for some good books about the history and significance in veils--women's veils, bridal veils, cosmic veils, the idea of a "veil" between us and God and between this life and the next. Any suggestions?

--Bored Pre-Engineer

A: Dear Bored Pre-Engineer,

As you can imagine, most books about veils have something to do with Islamic culture (especially books written in the last decade). The best book I found on veils in general was Veil: Modesty, Privacy, and Resistance by Fadwa El Guindi, which you can find at the Library (GT 2112 .E43x 1999). The Prayer Veil in Scripture and History by J.C. Wenger is probably more specific to veils as symbols, but it's out of print, you'll be hard-pressed to find it.

Bridal veils, incidentally, come from the practice of brides wearing their hair flowing down their back to symbolize their virginity. Instead, brides simply wear a veil today.

- Optimistic, your veil specialist