Chapter

“Mysticism is Tempting”: Simone de Beauvoir on Mysticism, Metaphysics, and Sexual Difference

in Sensible Ecstasy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780226349510
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226349466 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226349466.003.0005
“Mysticism is Tempting”: Simone de Beauvoir on Mysticism, Metaphysics, and Sexual Difference

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This chapter shows that what Teresa encounters is death, mortality, and loss, thereby marking her confrontation with the real as the site of her autonomy. Although Beauvoir presents Teresa as an existentialist heroine, it is argued that it is precisely the power of belief in a God who enables her to be “everything” that allows Teresa to act in the face of death. Without strong cultural support for their subjectivity, women, even Beauvoir, perhaps still need belief to attain freedom. Beauvoir suggests the situatedness of freedom and its dependence on recognition by other conscious beings. Beauvoir the philosopher adopts a similar stance, arguing that it must accept mortality, contingency, and the relativity of human values in order to create meaningful human worlds.

Keywords: Teresa; Simone de Beauvoir; everything; mortality; human values

Chapter.  11387 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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