Synopses & Reviews
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.
This collection gathers essays from a 2009 Syracuse University conference titled 'The Politics of Love.' The contributors are less interested in 'whether people believe in religion or god' than in 'what the modern notion of religion has done in the world, what kinds of subjectivities it has produced... what forms of inequalities, what conceptions of justice and freedom [it has] enabled and foreclosed.' French feminist Hélène Cixous (Le Prénom de Dieu, 1967) reflects poignantly on her 40-year dialogue on God's existence with Jacques Derrida, her experience of his death, and her hopes for resurrection (i.e., 'what one doesn't believe in'). Mark Jordan (Harvard Divinity School; Recruiting Young Love, CH, Sep'11, 49-0219) offers an essay titled 'The Return of Religion during the Reign of Sexuality'; Saba Mahmood (Univ. of California, Berkeley; Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, 2005) critiques the genre of women's anti-Islamic autobiographies so popular among feminists; Gianni Vattimo (emer., Univ. of Turin; The End of Modernity, CH, Nov'89, 27-1492) defends postmodern atheistic Christianity; and Sarah Coakley (Univ. of Cambridge; editor, Religion and the Body, 1997) explores a nonviolent, nonviolating conception of sacrifice. A thought-provoking roundtable transcript concludes this worthwhile, eclectic collection. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. --ChoiceS. Young, McHenry County College, April 2012
"[A] worthwhile, eclectic collection.... Recommended." --Choice Indiana University Press
"[This] volume is an ambitious amalgamation of perspectives. Its multiplicity is its strength, tying the entries together through symbolic and ideological similarity. Feminism, Sexuality and the Return of Religion rejects the urge to catalogue or homogenise, embracing a structure more reflective of the heterogeneity that suffuses its subject matter." --Religion and Gender
"Ambitious, promising, and timely as it works to cross-pollinate three of the most powerful forces in contemporary society: feminism, sexuality, and religion." --James Olthuis, Institute for Christian Studies Indiana University Press
"The intellectual breadth and depth represented here is potent and will attract readers from a variety of disciplines." --Ellen Armour, Vanderbilt Divinity School
"This remarkable work assembles the papers given at the eponymous 2007 Syracuse University conference in the series on Postmodernism, Culture, and Religion.... The reader gets a palpable sense of the excitement and collaboration that animated the conference... The theorists go to the heart of some of the most exciting problems and possibilities that emerge when religion, gender, and sexuality interrogate one another, using the tools of anthropology, theology, postcolonial studies, and more. In doing so, they testify to the ongoing vibrancy of feminist inquiry in religious studies." --Religious Studies Review Indiana University Press
"This is certainly a welcome addition to the library of philosophers of religion, as well as feminist and gender theorists and students." --Hypatia
In contemporary continental philosophy, feminist theory and reflections on sexuality and gender rarely make contact with religion. Conversely, philosophy of religion seldom interacts with discourses in feminism, sexuality, and gender. In Feminism, Sexuality, and the Return of Religion, seven internationally recognized scholars tackle complicated questions provoked by the often stormy intersection of these powerful forces. Breaking down barriers as they extend the richness of each philosophical tradition, the essays in this book cover themes such as queer sexuality and religion, feminism and the gift, feminism and religious reform, and religion and diversity. Contributors include H l ne Cixous, Sarah Coakley, Kelly Brown Douglas, Mark D. Jordan, Catherine Keller, Saba Mahmood, and Gianni Vattimo.
About the Author
Linda Martín Alcoff is Professor of Philosophy at Hunter College and the City University of New York. She is author of Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self and editor of many books, including Singing in the Fire: Tales of Women in Philosophy and Identity Politics Reconsidered.
John D. Caputo is Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Humanities at Syracuse University. He is author of The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event (IUP, 2006) and editor (with Linda Martín Alcoff) of St. Paul among the Philosophers (IUP, 2009).
Table of Contents
Introduction: Feminism, Sexuality and the Return of Religion--Linda Martín Alcoff and John D. Caputo
1. In Defense of Sacrifice: Gender, Selfhood and the Binding of Isaac--Sarah Coakley
2. The Return of Religion during the Reign of Sexuality--Mark D. Jordan
3. Returning God: the Gift of Feminist Theology--Catherine Keller
4. Religion, Feminism and the Empire: Is Islam the Problem? --Saba Mahmood
5. It's All About the Blues: The Black Female Body and Womanist God-Talk--Kelly Brown Douglas
6. Nihilism, Sexuality, Postmodern Christianity--Gianni Vattimo
7. Promised Belief--Hélène Cixous
8. Concluding Roundtable: Feminism, Sexuality and the Deconstruction of "Religion"