Catherine Clément,Julia Kristeva

The Feminine and the Sacred

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In November 1996, Catherine Clément and Julia Kristeva began a correspondence exploring the subject of the sacred. In this collection of those letters Catherine Clément approaches the topic from an anthropologist's point of view while Julia Kristeva responds from a psychoanalytic perspective. Their correspondence leads them to a controversial and fundamental question: is there anything sacred that can at the same time be considered strictly feminine?
The two voices of the book work in tandem, fleshing out ideas and blending together into a melody of experience. The result is a dialogue that delves into the mysteries of belief — the relationship between faith and sexuality, the body and the senses — which, Clément and Kristeva argue, women feel with special intensity.
Although their discourse is not necessarily about theology, the authors consider the role of women and femininity in the religions of the world, from Christianity and Judaism to Confucianism and African animism. They are the first to admit that what they have undertaken is "as impossible to accomplish as it is fascinating." Nevertheless, their wide-ranging and exhilarating dialogue succeeds in raising questions that are perhaps more important to ask than to answer.
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297 printed pages

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