Mythical beasts: how queer bodies expand the religious imaginary Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Goodwin, Megan
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Religious Studies
  • The chiasmus of work on and with the body (askesis) and knowledge created by being-in-body (noesis) makes possible radically different thought about bodies and religiosity. Religion thus emerges as a site of meaning-making: an explanation for why one's body is the way that it is and a space in which to celebrate that body and use it in service to the divine. I read Foucault's theory of becoming-homosexual and Jantzen's religious philosophy of becoming-divine against the interviews and writings of Raven Kaldera, a male-to-female transsexual in the Northern Tradition. Kaldera's story is one of self-fashioning: he has shaped his body and his life to reflect his noetic experience of the divine – Hela, Norse patroness of the dead, requested that Kaldera serve as shaman to a sexually transgressive Norse Pagan community. I conclude that Kaldera instantiates a liberatory model of religiosity for those excluded by the western religious imaginary.
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  • Styers, Randall
  • Open access

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