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Entangled Subjects: Feminism, Religion, and the Obligation to Alterity

Hawthorne, Sian Melvill (2013) 'Entangled Subjects: Feminism, Religion, and the Obligation to Alterity.' In: Evans, Mary and Hemming , Clare and Henry, Marsha and Johnstone, Hazel and Madhok, Sumi and Wearing, Sadie, (eds.), The Sage Handbook of Feminist Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers. (In Press)

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Abstract

This chapter explores the relationship between feminism and religion, asking why religious difference is rarely included in the set of intersectional identities recognised by feminism as sites of valued political articulation. The early influence of religious sources for early feminist campaigns for women’s rights appears largely forgotten and the longstanding and intense engagement by religious feminists with their traditions is generally marginalised in mainstream feminist accounts. Instead, religion is conventionally represented as inimical to feminist interests and treated uniformly as a source of women’s oppression. Such a negative attitude can be attributed to two main sources—secularism and colonialism—which contributed (respectively) to the privatization of religion and its representation as the sign of an irrational and primitive mentality requiring and justifying the civilizing force of western modernity. Feminism’s alignment with secularism against religion risks repeating the colonialist move that makes of religion an abjected other.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: feminism and religion; religion and gender; secularism, postcolonialism, confessional feminism, religious difference, women and religion
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of the Study of Religions
Depositing User: Sian Hawthorne
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2013 11:00
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/16925

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