Friday, 25 June 2010

CF Submissions - TheAlogies of the Goddess

Call for Submissions

TheAlogies of the Goddess:
Dialogues within the Feminist Spirituality Community

Book Editors:
Angela Hope, Saint Mary’s University
Katherine MacDowell, Ocean Seminary College

Deadline to Submit Abstract: August 30th, 2010

Scope of the Proposed Book

Thealogy, or more accurately thealogies, constitutes a newly burgeoning field with respect to feminist praxis within the Goddess spirituality and feminist spirituality movements in recent decades. Despite this, most scholarly works on the Goddess movement and feminist spirituality are situated from a sociological, psychological, anthropological, or religionist approach. Aside from several ovarinal contributions from thealogians such as Carol Christ, Charlotte Caron, Melissa Raphael, and various others, thealogy within the context of Goddess spirituality and feminist spirituality has received little wider scholarly attention. The proposed book: TheAlogies of the Goddess: Dialogues within the Feminist Spirituality Community is an attempt to explore the thealogical dimensions of what it means to be a Goddess Feminist or Spiritual Feminist in this world from a scholarly and/or experiential perspective. Its intended audience is comprised of both scholars and practitioners alike.

Aim and Purpose of the Proposed Book

The book seeks to create an ongoing dialogue within the Goddess and feminist spirituality tradition, rather than to dictate doctrine or ascribe universal thea-based ideologies to the movement. It creates the space for Goddess and Spiritual/Religious Feminists to name their own thealogies, while facilitating constant discussions within the larger community. Our hope is that this book will engender lively discussion amongst women and men of various social backgrounds that will continue beyond the confines of this book, inspiring and supporting future thealogical scholarship and discussions within the spiritual feminist community about ways of doing thealogy. The aim of the book is to explore new ideas and new directions within thealogy rather than replicating or recycling the present introductory literature on thealogy. Though the book focuses on thealogical discourse, we welcome chapters in all aspects of the discourse, especially ones that create new language and new ways of doing/understanding thealogy. Thus, the goal is to continue crafting what constitutes thealogical discourse and praxis. Moreover, it is preferred that thealogy is not defined in relationship to theology, whereby theology becomes the Other to which thealogy gains its meaning and identity.

Situating Thealogy

Thealogy is distinct from theology in that it is ultimately the inquiry into the Goddess, the Sacred Feminine aspects of the Divine, or nonpatriarchal understandings of the Divine; whereas theology tends to focus on the Judeo-Christian (male) God. Its methodological and epistemological orientation tends to be rooted in feminist thought, thus thealogy is more accurately described as feminist thealogy. Thealogy is done by anyone who aspires to know and experience life in relation to Goddess and the Divine Feminine and has been expressed by such diverse groups as: Goddess Feminists, Goddessians, Dianics, Wiccans, Christian Feminists, Goddess Christians Feminists, Quaker Pagans, Goddess-Jewish Feminists, and so forth. This wide expression highlights how thealogy is a unique discourse that engages people across different religious and spiritual boundaries.

Engaging in thealogical reflection is not only personal, but also an interactive and dialogical endeavor. It is mental and experiential rather than dualistic or solely a cognitive function. As such, it is constituted in both theory and practice. Moreover, the nature of thealogical discourse is, we suggest, fluid, continuous, and in a constant process of becoming; it is never stagnant, unchanging, or even authoritatively binding. It is further hesitant towards universal truth claims and carries a healthy neo-pagan cautionary stance towards the notion of established doctrine. Thus, thealogy is focused more on processes that can mutate rather than producing products that are immutable and determinant. It is within this spirit that we suggest the following potential topics.

Potential Topics

The following are suggested, potential topics written to generate ideas and inspire creativity rather than be a binding, exhaustive list. We welcome any topic that deeply engages thealogy in new and innovative directions.

• Explorations in naming the nature of thealogy, the different kinds of thealogy, sources of thealogy, and/or the task of thealogy. From this vantage point, one would be talking more about the theoretical and methodological structures of thealogy. Does the Goddess tradition have its own sources to draw from such as experience, ritual, magic, and the arts? How does one engage in thealogy using these various sources? Furthermore, one might consider what it means to be a thealogian, including outlining what it is a thealogion does.
• Topics that concern language and thealogy, or Goddess-talk. What are the implications for women in naming the Divine—Goddess, and using the concept of “She”? What are the implications for men, nonhuman animals, and the ecosystem?
• Explorations concerning the nature of Goddess or the Divine Feminine. In other words, one might possibly entertain the ‘who, what, where, how, and why’ questions as they pertain to the Goddess. Is Goddess a separate entity, metaphor, or a projection of our mental processes? What does this mean for a Goddess or Spiritual Feminist?
• What is the nature of the ontological relationship between Goddess and life-form? What does it means to be a life-form, woman, male, or a Goddess/Spiritual Feminist in the world in relation to Goddess. Are we part of Goddess or separate from Goddess?
• Topics that explore the relationship between humans and other humans, nature, and animals as they might be rooted within an ecothealogical perspective.
• Understandings and approaches to suffering, hardship, and ‘evil’ as it is understood within neo-pagan ontology and epistemology. Is there such a thing as theadicy? Additionally, how does Goddess factor in to these understandings? Does Goddess cause suffering or ‘evil’? Is Goddess even omnipotent or omniscient? Or is Goddess understood best through a process thealogical perspective?
• Explorations in thealogical ethics or how ethics can be approached and informed by a thealogy. How is a human or Goddess Feminist to live their life in terms of morality?
• Explorations in performative thealogy or ritual thealogy and what the practice of ritual provides for the enactment and experience of thealogy. What is the task of performative thealogy in a Goddess context? How does magic contribute to our understandings of thealogy? What might define underlying ritual theory within a Goddess/Spiritual Feminist perspective?
• Topics that explore the goddesses and sacred myths: Are there mythological sources that can be engaged with in order to do thealogy? Can they be used to expound our understandings of creation from a thealogical perspective?
• Explorations of the myth of matriarchal history and whether or not this is meaningful from a thealogical perspective. Does it serve as the basis of a problematic soteriology with patriarchal tendencies or is it emancipative for women and men?
• Topics that explore that relationship between politics, political activism, and thealogy. Is doing thealogy related to feminist praxis? How do Goddess Feminists engage the public and political realm? Must all women who engage in Goddess/Spiritual Feminist traditions be feminists?
• Topics that explore whether or not Goddess Feminists experience transformation rather than redemption? What is the nature of this experience—teleological or process-oriented, static or constant, embodied or disembodied?
• Explorations in understanding the body from a thealogical perspective. How does the body and sexuality inform a Goddess Feminists understanding of thealogy?
• Explorations of Goddess/Spiritual Feminist identity. How do women and men experience and define themselves as embodying the sacred feminine or their faith? How do these self-definitions impact their day-to-day lives? What does it mean for an individual to be an adherent of the Goddess/Divine Feminine?
• Exploration of Goddess/Spiritual Feminist spiritual and religious development and revelation. How do individuals come to know the Goddess? How is the Goddess/Divine Feminine revealed to individuals? How do traditions unfold and evolve?

If you are interested in submitting a chapter to this edited book, please submit a 250 word abstract to Angela Hope at by August 30, 2010. For any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

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