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Physical gender and thealogical interpretation: On the meaning of physical gender in the process of interpretation, and how it might matter in feminist thealogy
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centrum för genusforskning. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Culture and Gender studies.
2005 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In what ways does physical gender relate to the process of interpretation according to feminist theory? This paper aims to discuss this feminist theoretical question in relation to my own master thesis, as an example of how this might be dealt with (or not) within feminist thealogy.

By using the concept physical gender, as suggested by Swedish feminist theologian Anne-Louise Eriksson, as an alternative to talking about sex or gender, and by relating this to how Judith Butler, in her alternative for the concept social construction, uses the concept materialized body, the complexity of the question of feminist theoretical starting points is addressed.

In my feminist thealogical reading of the motif of Mary in the last of the songs of the Finnish national epos The Kalevala, I take my own physical gender, as a woman, as one of the starting points of a textually and contextually based interpretation. But, as the concept physical gender in itself implies, there is according to feminist theory of today, no simple way of answering in what way and how, physical gender may be a relevant category in discussing the assumptions of the act of theological or ideological interpretation.

Which are the important questions in a discussion of feminist hermeneutics and contextual relevance regarding physical gender? When does physical gender seem to be a liberating starting point in this matter, and when does it not?

The questions addressed in this paper is also the focus of my ongoing, recently started doctoral thesis, where I mean to study how ecofeminist thealogians in particular, deal with the problems that may rise when taking the physical gender implicit or explicit as starting point for a thealogical interpretation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Helsingfors, 2005.
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Religious Studies and Theology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-22421OAI: diva2:596098
The 2nd Christina Conferens on Women’s studies , “Gender, religion and theory in dialogue”
Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2013-01-21

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Raivio, Magdalena
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