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Divine LoveLuce Irigaray, Women, Gender, and Religion$
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Morny Joy

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719055232

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719055232.001.0001

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What’s God got to do with it?

What’s God got to do with it?

(p.7) Chapter 1 What’s God got to do with it?
Divine Love

Morny Joy

Manchester University Press

This chapter follows Irigaray's investigations of women and of their relation to the concept of otherness, particularly as this term has featured in acts of denial that have deprived women of an identity of their own. It surveys the first and second phases of Irigaray's work—the criticism of the western philosophical and religious tradition and the ways that she recommends for women to challenge it. Irigaray is extremely critical of a Lacanian version of desire that denied women any access to a conscious expression of their own. She wishes to liberate women from such repression but proposes that their new expressions of desire will not engulf the other person. She does not support a literal revival of a goddess religion, but she recommends cultivating the values of tranquillity and harmony that she associates with this benevolent world. She advocates two inconsistent agendas. One is the dismantling, in the name of infinite possibility, of the univocal arrangements that have pervaded western traditions in the name of gender. At the same time, there is the endorsement of definite sex-specific qualities and a structure of relationship that is to be observed.

Keywords:   western religious tradition, women spirituality, sex-specific qualities, western philosophical tradition, conscious expression

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