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An Outlaw Ethics for the Study of Religions: Maternality and the Dialogic Subject in Julia Kristeva’s 'Stabat Mater'

Hawthorne, Sian Melvill (2013) 'An Outlaw Ethics for the Study of Religions: Maternality and the Dialogic Subject in Julia Kristeva’s 'Stabat Mater'.' Culture and Dialogue, 3 (1). pp. 127-151.

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Abstract

In this essay I examine Julia Kristeva’s transgressive body of work as a strategic embodiment of, and argument for, an ethical orientation towards otherness predicated on the image of divided subjectivity identified by Jacques Lacan but powerfully re-theorised as dialogic by Kristeva. I focus on what is, for Kristeva, a stylistically unique essay – 'Stabat Mater' – which examines a number of institutional discourses about motherhood from the western philosophical, religious, and psychoanalytical traditions, and simultaneously subverts them with a parallel discourse (and enactment) ostensibly by an actual mother. The text itself, I argue, can be read as a performance of dialogic subjectivity and of Kristeva’s conception of maternality, which implies a radical ethical imperative – termed 'herethics' – towards alterity. I propose that this herethical model might heuristically inform current debates regarding the ethical orientations of the study of religions as an academic field.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of the Study of Religions
ISSN: 22223282
Depositing User: Sian Hawthorne
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2013 10:49
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/16922

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