Feminist Theology and Meister Eckhart’s Transgendered Metaphor

Williams, Duane (2016) Feminist Theology and Meister Eckhart’s Transgendered Metaphor. Feminist Theology, 24 (3). ISSN 0966-7350 (Accepted for Publication)

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Abstract

This essay examines a key theme in the work of the medieval mystical theologian, Meister Eckhart, namely, the Father giving birth to the Son in the soul. It explores this theme in the light of feminist theology, and argues that Eckhart is deliberately applying to God a female act and therefore characteristic. Criticisms of the efficacy of such female imagery are considered, but countered through a defence of what is argued to be Eckhart’s incontestable qualification of the male symbol through a metaphor based on a biological fact. In turn the image of women in the limited biological role of giving birth is critically examined, while Eckhart is argued in his life and work to have risen above any position that fixes and limits the roles and identities of women. Further it is shown that Eckhart has not simply substituted female imagery for male, thereby reinforcing binary gender opposition and any negative consequences that befall. Eckhart is rather shown to employ an androgynous and transgendered metaphor in that the male Father-God is simultaneously a female Mother-God. The nature and purpose of Eckhart’s transgendered metaphor is then explored in relation to its apophatic context.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is the author's post peer review version of an article, the final version of which is published in the Sage Publication 'Feminist Theology'
Keywords: Meister Eckhart, Feminist Theology, Mysticism, Birth, Transgender, Metaphor
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Theology, Philosophy and Religion
Depositing User: Lauren Whiston
Date Deposited: 04 May 2016 10:28
Last Modified: 04 May 2016 10:28
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/989

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