This book generates a critical framework through which to interrogate the way in which religious feminists have employed women's literature in their texts. This is in order that both the way we read literature and the literature we read might be subject to scrutiny, and that new reading practices be developed. Having both the critical and constructive agenda, this is a book in two parts. The first part locates the study of the use of women's writing by religious feminists in a much wider frame than has previously been attempted. In the past individual religious feminists have been criticised, often publicly and loudly, for the use they have made of particular literary texts. Having critically surveyed previously unacknowledged constraints under which religious feminists read women's literature, the second part of the book explores how the work of women poststructuralist thinkers and theorists can enrich the reading practices. It offers alternative models for an engagement between literature and theology. Julia Kristeva is best known within the academy for her unorthodox application of Lacanian theory to contemporary culture. Her work challenges religious feminists to reassess the utilitarian approaches to literary texts and enquire into whether these might have a more powerful political role when their status as literature is recognised and affirmed. The book elucidates Luce Irigaray's thinking on sexual difference and also demonstrates its significance for feminist religious readers.

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conflict. It is precisely because Lacanian theory places aggression and rivalry at the heart of human relations that it offers important insights into the management of conflict. However, far from presenting a dark view of humankind, it offers hope, if not happiness. Lacanian analysis explains why domination and dependence are part of identity construction and demonstrates how bringing the unconscious

in Socio-ideological fantasy and the Northern Ireland conflict

. (Robert Young, ‘What does psychoanalysis have to offer to newly democratising countries?’ www.human-nature.com ). Psychoanalytic works on politics include writings by Žižek, Stavrakakis, Althusser, Elliott and Jameson, as well as seminal work by Adorno and Marcuse, and adaptations of Lacanian theory by Laclau and Mouffe. 2

in Socio-ideological fantasy and the Northern Ireland conflict
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Pathologising security through Lacanian desire

resolution. This is what follows from the ‘splitness’ of subjectivity. Our splitness in the world drives a quest for an impossible state of unity. As Jeanne Schroeder neatly explains, ‘it is easy to presume that the reason we feel lacking is that we lack some thing ’ ( 2003 ). Desire, in Lacanian theory, revolves around a fantasy about a ‘thing’ that will resolve the lack. The

in Death and security
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between psychoanalytic approaches (Metz, Žižek) and that of Deleuze, for Deleuze is surely one of the most vehement critics of Freudian and Lacanian theories. Žižek has even published an entire book critical of Deleuze (Žižek 2004), while Rancière (as we have already discovered) finds serious shortcomings in Deleuze’s approaches to film and aesthetics. I should therefore stress that I have deliberately avoided pitting these theories against one another. I wanted to avoid a scorecard by means of which I could discover who provides the best theory. Instead, my point was

in The reality of film
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Sibylle Lacan’s Un père: puzzle

terms of Lacanian theory, or are there alternative frameworks which can be productively brought to bear on the text? However, it is first necessary to introduce the complex biographical nexus of relations with which the text sets out to deal. Jacques Lacan married Marie-Louise Blondin (‘Malou’) on  January . During their honeymoon in Italy he sent a telegram to his mistress of the day; as Elisabeth Roudinesco remarks in her biography Jacques Lacan, husband and wife had entirely opposing notions of marital fidelity and, in her words, ‘ce couple . . . s

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
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Darkness and suicide in the work of Patricia Highsmith

for the deathly life, and it seems that the extremity of social exclusion (whether the self-exclusion of the potential individual suicide or the traumatised prisoner) means that the gap between the two can manifest in representations of the monstrous and uncanny, perfect within the Gothic framework but also included in crime fiction. Central to Lacanian theory (on which Žižek bases much of his own arguments) is the argument that the space between the ‘two deaths’ is filled not with desire that is excluded but with an unconditional and repetitive demand to do or tell

in Suicide and the Gothic
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intra-community contact would need to be encouraged and developed. Perhaps school-based programmes for change would need to be developed based on results of the research. People need to become more aware of their rationalisations. Differences that are oppositional can only be desensitised in this way. Through further academic research, further exploration of Lacanian theory, specialised training of small

in Socio-ideological fantasy and the Northern Ireland conflict
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women poststructuralist thinkers and theorists can enrich our reading practices and offer alternative models for an engagement between literature and theology. Julia Kristeva is best known within the academy for her unorthodox application of Lacanian theory to contemporary culture. She characterises her own work, however, as a quest to discern how the interconnected energies of literature and the sacred represent a vital source of renewal for our deeply ailing political system. Kristeva employs the now familiar device of characterising literature as feminine and

in Literature, theology and feminism

he would finally gain access to. (1985a: 129) Although Speculum does not offer an explicit critique of Lacan’s elaboration upon Freud, the frequent ‘specular’ images are implicit recollections of his theories. Irigaray implies that the male analyses of subjectivity it contains can be compared to a (boy) child gazing in the mirror. He concentrates only upon the reflection of himself and not the matrix (mother) which supports him. This judgement particularly refers to the manner in which Lacanian theory banishes the m/other from representation but requires her

in Literature, theology and feminism