This book explores the work of Luce Irigaray, one of the most influential and controversial figures in feminist thought—although Irigaray herself disclaims the term ‘feminism’. Irigaray's work stands at the intersection of contemporary debates concerned with culture, gender and religion, but her ideas have not yet been presented in a comprehensive way from the perspective of religious studies. The book examines the development of religious themes from Irigaray's initial work, Speculum of the Other Woman, in which she rejects traditional forms of western religions, to her more recent explorations of eastern religions. Irigaray's ideas on love, the divine, an ethics of sexual difference and normative heterosexuality are analysed. These analyses are placed in the context of the reception of Irigaray's work by secular feminists such as Judith Butler, Drucilla Cornell and Elizabeth Grosz, as well as by feminists in religious studies such as Pamela Sue Anderson, Ellen Armour, Amy Hollywood and Grace Jantzen. Most of these thinkers reject Irigaray's proposals for women's adoption of gender-specific qualities as a form of gender essentialism. Finally, Irigaray's own spiritual path, which has been influenced by eastern religions, specifically the disciplines of yoga and tantra in Hinduism and Buddhism, is evaluated in the light of recent theoretical developments in orientalism and postcolonialism.
This book is about abundant, generous, other-regarding love. In the history of Western ideas of love, such a configuration has been inseparable from our ideas about divinity and the sacred, often reserved only for God and rarely thought of as a human achievement. The book is a substantial engagement with Cixous's philosophies of love, inviting the reader to reflect on the conditions of subjectivity that just might open us to something like a divine love of the other. It follows this thread in this genealogy of abundant love: the thread that connects the subject of love from fifth-century-b.c.e. Greece and Plato, to the twentieth-century protestant theology of agapic love of Anders Nygren, to the late twentieth-century poetico-philosophy of Hélène Cixous.
Is there a pill for love? What about an anti-love drug, to help you get over your ex? This book argues that certain psychoactive substances, including MDMA—the active ingredient in Ecstasy—might help ordinary couples work through relationship difficulties and strengthen their connection. Others may help sever emotional ties during a breakup, with transformative implications for how we think about love. Oxford ethicists Julian Savulescu and Brian D. Earp build a case for conducting research into "love drugs" and "anti-love drugs" and explore their ethical implications for individuals and society. Why are we still in the dark about the effects of common medications on romantic partnerships? How can we overhaul scientific research norms to put interpersonal factors front and center? Biochemical interventions into love and relationships are not some far-off speculation. Our most intimate connections are already being influenced by drugs we ingest for other purposes. Controlled studies are already underway to see whether artificial brain chemicals might enhance couples' therapy. And conservative religious groups are already experimenting with certain medications to quash romantic desires—and even the urge to masturbate—among children and vulnerable sexual minorities. Simply put, the horse has bolted. Where it runs is up to us. Love is the Drug arms readers with the latest scientific knowledge as well as a set of ethical tools that you can use to decide for yourself if these sorts of medications should be a part of our society. Or whether a chemical romance might be right for you.
Ch a pter 2
LOVE’S DIM ENSIONS
a tribe in northern Pakistan, it
is rumored that the most powerful love potion you can get is water
that’s been used to wash the body of a dead leatherworker. In Swedish folklore, to capture your crush’s attention, you should carry an
apple in your armpit for a day—and then present it, bathed in your
own special scent, at an opportune romantic moment. Since Roman
times, at least, a long list of weird tinctures and funny foodstuffs have
been thought to stimulate lust, love, and good relationships. Sometimes love doesn’t just happen
C h a p t e r 12
CHOOSIN G LOVE
you are probably at least open to
the idea of love drugs playing a role in our society. But you might
also worry that something special about love would be lost in the
process. Part of the magic of love, it seems, is precisely that it is
so mysterious—that it can take us over completely, as though by
a force outside ourselves. Do we really want to put it under a microscope, much less douse it with a bunch of chemicals from a lab?
As Wordsworth wrote in the “The Tables Turned,” “Our meddling intellect / Mis-shapes the beauteous
This study is about the central place of the emotional world in Beckett's writing. Stating that Beckett is ‘primarily about love’, it makes a re-assessment of his influence and immense popularity. The book examines numerous Beckettian texts, arguing that they embody a struggle to remain in contact with a primal sense of internal goodness, one founded on early experience with the mother. Writing itself becomes an internal dialogue, in which the reader is engaged, between a ‘narrative-self’ and a mother.
Speaking of love: philosophy, theology, and
Love of self raises a question for language, a question for the subject, for the world, for the
other, for the god(s).
Love of self represents an enigma, an impossibility, sometimes a taboo. Often in this era
of sexual subjectivism, all that remains of self is a kind of masturbation, certain modes
of pleasure and jouissance. But love? This question seems to be much more difficult and
is not necessarily to be confused with questions of
Divine Promethean love
If I get ready to embrace Promethea – and every time it is as if I were embracing the
world, it is simpler and simpler and more and more religious, because from that moment
on rarely does the kiss remain one between the two of us; it is scarcely given before
it calls the whole universe to celebrate, in an infinitesimal and incredible celebration,
genesis fills the air we breathe. (Cixous, 1991a: 52)
Locating Promethea in paradise
Through the engagement with the work of
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ANTI - LOVE DRUGS
a cure for love, is almost
as old as love itself. References crop up in the writings of Lucretius, Ovid, Shakespeare, and many others and are tightly linked to
the idea that love, desire, and especially obsessive infatuation can
sometimes be like a serious illness: bad for your physical and mental
health and in some cases destructive to your overall well-being. The
playwright George Bernard Shaw called romantic love one of “the
most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions” and even mocked the idea that
Through an analysis of the correspondence of over one hundred couples from the Scottish elites across the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, this book explores how ideas around the nature of emotional intimacy, love, and friendship within marriage adapted to a modernising economy and society, in turn shaping how power was negotiated between partners across the period. A feminist methodology is used to highlight how patriarchal values moulded the nature of the marital relationship, affecting how men and women perceived their role within it and how they understood married life. The book argues that patriarchy continued to be the central model for marriage across the period as couples found ways to negotiate its strictures to make it compatible with their personal experiences. As a result, women found spaces to hold power within the family, but could not translate it to power beyond the household. Comparing the Scottish experience to that across Europe and North America, the book shows that over the course of the eighteenth century, far from being a side-note in European history, Scottish ideas about gender and marriage were to become culturally dominant.