Feminist Theology and the Sensible Unsaying of Mysticism

Sigridur Gudmarsdottir

in Apophatic Bodies

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230815
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235087 | DOI:

Series: Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia

Feminist Theology and the Sensible Unsaying of Mysticism

Show Summary Details


The literary theorist Anne-Marie Priest argues that if poststructural scholars of religion have pointed out the connections between Derridean deconstruction and negative theology, the affinities between feminist theories of sexual difference and negative theology have been less explored. By reading the early texts of philosopher Luce Irigaray on alterity and sexual difference, Priest claims apophatic practices at the heart of contemporary feminism of difference. She maintains that for those feminists who affirm sexual difference, woman-as-the-Other holds a place similar to that held by God for apophatic theologians. Irigaray sheds light on the “womanliness” of God, suggesting that God is both a model and an agent for the disruption of patriarchy and the creation of feminine subjectivity. For feminist theology, which is committed to the quest for the full humanity of women and to the end of their oppression within the Christian tradition, can anything sensible come out of this tradition of silence and unsaying? This chapter highlights some apophatic patterns within the field of feminist theology and considers the prospects of apophatic feminist theology.

Keywords: Priest; religion; negative theology; Luce Irigaray; apophatic practices; God; silence; unsaying; Derridean theology; feminism

Chapter.  4774 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Fordham University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.