Speaking of love: philosophy, theology, and French feminism

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:
Speaking of love: philosophy, theology, and French feminism

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This chapter revolves round the concept of love. It reflects on the tension between Plato's eros, both vulgar and divine, and Christianity's divine love, and inquires into who might be the subjects of these loves. It is from the writings of the French feminist philosopher Hélène Cixous that this project principally draws its inspiration. Cixous's work suggests a conception of a generous other-regarding love that is indeed other-regarding, but which also uniquely escapes the problem of self-sacrifice that attaches to agape. For the feminist thinker Cixous, the sexual politics of how love has traditionally been understood to negotiate a subject/object relation has been a constant preoccupation of her work, which is informed by, and contributes to, contemporary philosophical reflections on difference and subjectivity. Throughout her writing, she explores the ways in which different conceptions of love have been implicated in the production of unjust and unequal relations of exchange.

Keywords: philosophy; theology; French feminism; inspiration; patriarchal logos

Chapter.  18098 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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