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Title: Thealogies in process : the role of Goddess-talk in contemporary feminist spirituality
Author: Mantin, Ruth
ISNI:       0000 0001 3618 513X
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2001
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Employing a feminist methodology and epistemology, this study examines the possibilities presented by thealogy, as 'Goddess-talk', to articulate the generalisation of new expressions of post-dualistic, embodied spiritualities and of the immanent sacred. This inquiry is first contextualised within an overview of the Goddess movement as an emergent tradition within Western, contemporary culture, focusing on the extent to which relevant debates relate to this study's concern with feminist thealogy's potential to frame post-realist expressions of the sacred. A further focus is upon the distinctive contribution to understandings of Goddess-talk and spirituality presented by the theology of Carol P. Christ. Drawing on the hermeneutical and epistemological issues raised by Christ's work, an exploration of post-realist thealogy and feminist spirituality is further pursued through dialogue with the narratives of nine women who locate themselves upon a feminist and/or thealogical spiritual journey. An approach is adopted to this heuristic aspect of the research which acknowledges the position of the researcher in the process of 'inter-viewing' and recognises the role of conversation in the construction of knowledge. The respondents' narratives are interpreted in relation to their presentation of central aspects of feminist spirituality. These are: the use of Goddess-talk; female empowerment; post-dualistic expressions of embodied spirituality; a biophilic sense of connection with 'nature'; relationality; political awareness; affirmation of female bodily sacrality; respect for difference, and the reclaiming and affirming of the 'Other'. In conversation with these narratives, this study presents suggestions for the further development of thealogy, recognising the need to interrogate the role of 'women's experience' as a category and notions of the unified self in response to the challenges presented by postmodern and poststructural theories. Drawing on the work of Rosi Braidotti to illustrate the relationship between a feminist appropriation of subjectivity as process and the 'power of renaming', expressed in her use of the image of the nomad, it is proposed that thealogy has a role to play in renegotiating the social imaginary.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Philosophy