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Apophatic BodiesNegative Theology, Incarnation, and Relationality$
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Chris Boesel and Catherine Keller

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823230815

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823230815.001.0001

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Feminist Theology and the Sensible Unsaying of Mysticism

Feminist Theology and the Sensible Unsaying of Mysticism

(p.273) Feminist Theology and the Sensible Unsaying of Mysticism
Apophatic Bodies

Sigridur Gudmarsdottir

Fordham University Press

The literary theorist Anne-Marie Priest argues that if poststructural scholars of religion have pointed out the connections between Derridean deconstruction and negative theology, the affinities between feminist theories of sexual difference and negative theology have been less explored. By reading the early texts of philosopher Luce Irigaray on alterity and sexual difference, Priest claims apophatic practices at the heart of contemporary feminism of difference. She maintains that for those feminists who affirm sexual difference, woman-as-the-Other holds a place similar to that held by God for apophatic theologians. Irigaray sheds light on the “womanliness” of God, suggesting that God is both a model and an agent for the disruption of patriarchy and the creation of feminine subjectivity. For feminist theology, which is committed to the quest for the full humanity of women and to the end of their oppression within the Christian tradition, can anything sensible come out of this tradition of silence and unsaying? This chapter highlights some apophatic patterns within the field of feminist theology and considers the prospects of apophatic feminist theology.

Keywords:   Priest, religion, negative theology, Luce Irigaray, apophatic practices, God, silence, unsaying, Derridean theology, feminism

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