Chapter

Sexual Difference and the Problem of Belief

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/9780226349466.003.0008
Sexual Difference and the Problem of Belief

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This chapter focuses on the tendency in Irigaray's thought that is at odds with her insistence on the primacy of sexual difference, which is unable to account for the complexity and multiplicity of lived bodily experience. The problem of sexual difference is linked to belief, created by Beauvoir and taken up by Irigaray in relationship to Feuerbach. Feuerbach argued that religion emerges from emotion, fear of mortality and limitation, and the desire for immortality and transcendence of the limitations of individual embodied existence. He called for recognition that God's predicates are in fact attributes of humanity in its species being, against the reification and alienation of human beings in a divine other. Sexual difference for Irigaray takes the place of Feuerbach's “subjectivity”; thus, she calls for female divinities that will serve as the support of feminine subjectivity.

Keywords: Irigaray; sexual difference; Feuerbach; feminine subjectivity; problem of belief

Chapter.  10877 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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