Abstract: Far from being an unintended consequence of those ideologies which are religions, the subordination of women may be central to their raison d’être. The form that religions (primarily the Abrahamic religions) have taken would seem to reflect (i) male splitting, and (ii) a desire to trump woman, quite possibly on account of an unresolved relation to the mother. Insofar as the raison d’être of religion is to constitute male as normative, while woman becomes ‘the other’, it is fascism. Male power and control over women is legitimised as only natural. We know control, rather than lust, to motivate sexual abuse. But sexual abuse is part of a wider scenario of male exploitation of women, with seemingly deep roots. To see religion in this light is vital.
This talk was delivered at the 2018 Religion and Rape Culture Conference. Click here to see more videos.
Professor Daphne Hampson held a chair in Post-Christian Thought at the University of St. Andrews. In her retirement she is an Associate of the Faculty of Theology and Religion at Oxford. The author of Theology and Feminism, After Christianity, and editor of Swallowing a Fishbone?, she is at present writing a book Religion as Gender Politics.
Header image: “Creation of Eve”, a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo [via WikiCommons]