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Title: The actively abjected : a hermeneutics of empowerment in Christian mysticism
Author: Tomas, Catherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 6353 1896
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis is concerned broadly with purported mystics and how the Roman Catholic Church conceives of them theologically, and treats them in practicality. In exploring the dynamics of power at work when an individual claims to have dialogue with God, I identify a very particular process that occurs, namely active abjection, and illustrate this using examples taken from the writings of various purported mystics. I argue that there is a collection of people - the actively abjected - who occupy a very specific role within the Roman Catholic Church, and that this role has not been recognized. I go on to suggest a way in which they can be understood and respected for the role they play. To do this, I draw upon particular philosophical models of understanding from Hannah Arendt and Julia Kristeva. I aspire to encourage a deeper and more complicated understanding of the nature of institutionalized oppression, and to offer a reconstructive model for how those who encounter potentially problematic individuals within communities might work and interact with them in a non-oppressive manner. This thesis is a work of Catholic theology in that it offers a theological and philosophical argument for the recognition of a particular role certain individuals play in maintaining the structure and definition of the Catholic Church. But it is also intended as a work of political philosophy. Both Arendt and Kristeva, whose writing I use as a lens to examine a particular phenomenon found in religious communities are theorists in the tradition of political philosophy and my intention is to expand the application of their models.
Supervisor: Anderson, Pamela Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mysticism--Catholic Church ; Feminism--Religious aspects--Catholic Church ; Women mystics ; Spiritual life--Catholic Church ; Philosophy and religion