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Feminism, Sexuality, and the Return of Religion

Edited by Linda Martín Alcoff and John D. Caputo

Publication Year: 2011

Feminist theory and reflections on sexuality and gender rarely make contact with contemporary continental philosophy of religion. Where they all come together, creative and transformative thinking occurs. In Feminism, Sexuality, and the Return of Religion, internationally recognized scholars tackle complicated questions provoked by the often stormy intersection of these powerful forces. The essays in this book break down barriers as they extend the richness of each philosophical tradition. They discuss topics such as queer sexuality and religion, feminism and the gift, feminism and religious reform, and religion and diversity. The contributors are Hélène Cixous, Sarah Coakley, Kelly Brown Douglas, Mark D. Jordan, Catherine Keller, Saba Mahmood, and Gianni Vattimo.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Series: Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion


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pp. 1-7


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pp. vii

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pp. ix

The editors wish to acknowledge Cathryn R. Newton, Dean Emerita of the College of Arts and Sciences, Syracuse University, for her generous support of a conference entitled “Postmodernism, Culture and Religion, 2: Feminism, Sexuality and the Return of Religion,” ...

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Introduction: Feminism, Sexuality, and the Return of Religion

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pp. 1-16

As Sarah Coakley bravely proposes in this volume, feminism, sexuality, and the return of religion represent three powerful forces in contemporary society that we should now attempt creatively to rejoin. Although these three are often oppositional—even in deadly opposition—with feminism and sexuality ...

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1. In Defense of Sacrifice: Gender, Selfhood, and the Binding of Isaac

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pp. 17-38

This paper is positioned where three roads meet. When we speak of three such roads, we recall immediately the fateful encounter of Oedipus and his father, Laius, whom he was to strike down and kill in dreadful ignorance that it was his own father that he assaulted. ...

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2. The Return of Religion during the Reign of Sexuality

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pp. 39-54

If religion now “returns” to us, how does it come? Like a seasonal wind, erratic but awaited, that rattles locks and scorches unlucky skin?—or is religion a plague ever latent in imagined tropics, some venereal fever inevitably imported, to which our citizenry remains vulnerable in its naked innocence? ...

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3. Returning God: The Gift of Feminist Theology

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pp. 55-76

In Christian culture there is something menacing about a return, a second coming. The Lord should not have had to come twice. He was nice the first time, he tried love, he healed and fed us, and see what happened to him. We threw his gift in his face. ...

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4. Religion, Feminism, and Empire: The New Ambassadors of Islamophobia

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pp. 77-102

The complicated role European feminism played in legitimating and extending colonial rule in vast regions of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East has been extensively documented and well argued for some time now.1 For many of us raised in this critical tradition, it is therefore surprising to witness the older colonialist discourse ...

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5. It’s All About the Blues: The Black Female Body and Womanist God-Talk

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pp. 103-123

“How can you, a black woman, possibly be a Christian?” This was the question posed by one of my students that inspired my most recent book, What’s Faith Got to Do With It: Black Bodies/Christian Souls.1 What my student, Gabrielle, recognized was the pervasive role that Christianity has played in the oppression of black women. ...

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6. Nihilism, Sexuality, Postmodern Christianity

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pp. 124-129

Allow me to start with a (not so) paradoxical thesis: the central importance of sexuality in human life is a belief that is more and more vanishing, its believers being increasingly reduced to psychoanalysts and priests (and not only Catholic priests). ...

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7. Promised Belief

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pp. 130-159

A very long time ago, in 1965, in a prehistory, in a twilight of the soul torn by nagging little apocalypses, I used to write “things,” literary larvae, that came together one night under the roof of a book called Le Prénom de Dieu, or The First Name of God, which I entrusted to Jacques Derrida to read. ...

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8. Concluding Roundtable: Feminism, Sexuality, and the Deconstruction of “Religion”

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pp. 160-184

Caputo. It is always a special moment for us when we are able to bring our speakers together to interact and to raise questions back and forth. We think of the theme of this conference, “feminism, sexuality, and the return of religion,” as so many sparks that could be fanned into larger flames. ...

List of Contributors

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pp. 185-188


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pp. 189-194

E-ISBN-13: 9780253001719
E-ISBN-10: 0253001714
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253356215

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion