Chapter

In the spirit of the gift of love

Sal Renshaw

in The Subject of Love

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780719069604
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702956 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719069604.003.0001
In the spirit of the gift of love

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This study explores the relationship between Cixous's conceptions of feminine subjectivity, love and divinity. It seems to be the case that, irrespective of the critique to which religious beliefs and practices were subjected throughout the twentieth century, a certain religious consciousness is nonetheless not simply persisting, but is rapidly adapting to the needs of a decentred, deconstructed, postmodern world. Furthermore, the self that relinquishes possession of itself as the subject of experience can be understood, then, to be immersed in the phenomenal world of immediacy, and thus to become in and with the other simultaneously. There can be no space for appropriation of difference, nor for self-sacrifice, in the traditional way in which that notion has been understood, for neither self nor other pre-exists the other. Cixous's dispossessed feminine subject is, then, dispossessed of the relation to itself, on which sacrificial love has traditionally been founded: there is no ‘self’ pre-existing the moment of meeting to whom the sacrifice in love can subsequently be referred.

Keywords: feminine subjectivity; love; divinity; sacrificial love; sacrifice; religious belief; dispossessed feminine; religious consciousness

Chapter.  11438 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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