Cite as: Zairong Xiang, Introduction to the lecture Catherine Keller, ‘The Queer Multiplicity of Becoming: A Feminist Theology of Entangled Difference’, part of the conference Confronting Gender and Faith, ICI Berlin, 10 December 2015, video recording, mp4, 12:45 <https://doi.org/10.25620/e151210-1_1>
10 Dec 2015
By Zairong Xiang
Video in EnglishFormat: mp4
First published on: https://www.ici-berlin.org/events/catherine-keller/
Rights: © ICI Berlin
Part of the Lecture
The Queer Multiplicity of Becoming: A Feminist Theology of Entangled Difference /
At the cutting edges of (US) academic, street, and church politics, gender has been succeeded by sex, the critique of male supremacism by that of heteronormativity, feminist by queer theory – and queer theology. Succession might mean supercession of one (successful?) identity politics by the next. At the same time (if time can be thus fixed) ‘black bodies matter’, or immigrant crises and the politics of islamophobia, or climate catastrophe, demand attention. If we suspect that progressive political supercessionism echoes an ancient Christian temporality of triumph, straight-forwardly gendered, might the multiplying differences of gender suggest an alternative spatiotemporality? Might a queer time (Halberstam) and a polyamorous space (Bauman) suggest no longer exceptional identities in motion but entangled differences in becoming?As a theological project ever engaged – sometimes noisily, sometimes apophatically – in dethroning the sovereign Lord, feminist gender finds itself not superseded but altered by the succession of LGBTQI[…] becomings. The assemblage of an emergent multiplicity of sex/gender relations incarnates – for such a feminist theology – the queer God (Althaus Reid) or ‘Eros of the universe’ (Whitehead). As the genders of faith multiply, might the planetary multiplicity of faiths – religious and irreligious – come into more trustworthy alliances on behalf of all living and loving flesh?
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Part of the Conference
Confronting Gender and Faith
Despite generations of feminist and queer deconstructions of gender and sexual binarisms in diverse disciplines, the modern/colonial belief in the heteronormative sexual (and thus gender) binary between ‘man’ and ‘woman’ seems to still be strongly held in contemporary society. In this conference, we ask if the binary gender system works as a kind of belief, a question that leads us to explore the relationship between ‘gender’ and systems of ‘faith’ by focusing on three different relations between the two: ‘gender as faith’, ‘gender against faith’, and ‘gender in faith’. The convergences and conflicts between gender and faith also ask us to look more closely at the complex and diverse articulations of gender within different religious ‘faiths’.
Questions to be addressed by the conference include the following: Is the analogy of gender heteornormativity and ‘faith’ still relevant in a cultural and religious context not focused on faith? Are ‘queerness’ and ‘faith’ compatible? How do actual non-heteronormative gender positions within religious traditions contradict conservative religious demonizations of gender theory as ‘gender ideology’?
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Surat Shaan Rathgeber Knan
An ICI Berlin event, in collaboration with the Zentrum für Gender- und Diversitätsforschung of the University of Tübingen (ZGD Tübingen)