Diasporic Feminist Theology

Diasporic Feminist Theology: Asia and Theopolitical Imagination

Namsoon Kang
Copyright Date: 2014
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  • Book Info
    Diasporic Feminist Theology
    Book Description:

    How do we navigate the question of identity in the fluid and pluralist conditions of postmodern society? Even more, how do we articulate identity as a defining particularity in the disappearance of borders, boundaries, and spaces in an increasingly globalist world? What constitutes identity and the formation of narratives under such conditions? How do these issues affect not only discursive practices, but theological and ethical construction and practice? This volumes explores these issues in depth. Diasporic Feminist Theology attempts to construct feminist theology by adopting diaspora as a theopolitical and ethical metaphor. Namsoon Kang here revisits and reexamines today’s significant issues such as identity politics, dislocation, postmodernism, postcolonialism, neoempire, Asian values, and constructs diasporic, transethnic, and glocal feminist theological discourses that create spaces of transformation, reconciliation, hospitality, worldliness, solidarity, and border-traversing. This work draws on diverse sources from contemporary critical discourses of diaspora studies, cultural studies, ethnic studies, postmodernism, postcolonialism, and feminism and feminist theology from a transterritorial space. This book is a landmark work, providing a comprehensive discourse for feminist theology today.

    eISBN: 978-1-4514-8972-9
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. 1 Diasporic Feminist Theology Politics of Diaspora and the Critic on the Fringes
    (pp. 1-40)

    One must begin somewhere. In order to write or express, one must find one’s point of entry. I find my point of entry in the adjectivediasporicbecause the diasporic has been a way of seeing and experiencing where I am and what I am: an academic in the United States, who could not find an academic home in her own place of birth. Here the binary approach to the issue of diaspora in terms of voluntariness or involuntariness does not work because the two poles inextricably intertwine. In diasporic life, the both sides are somehow always an aspect of...

  6. 2 Identity, Différance, and Alterity Deconstructive Mediation of the Identity Politics
    (pp. 41-72)

    The question of self-identity, Who am I?, is an enduring theme in human reality. When one connects this question of Who am I? to the question of Who are we?, one forms a politics of identity. The question as to how and where people as groups construct and express the identity that holds them together is more complex than it appears on the surface. Identity politics has made tremendous contributions for the marginalized groups: raising self-awareness and self-dignity; challenging through politicization the mainstream claim to hegemonic power; providing spaces to claim their voices and experiences as legitimate; and empowering both...

  7. 3 Asia as Theopolitical Imagination A Postcolonial Theological Reading of Orientalism and Neo–Orientalism
    (pp. 73-106)

    People use the terminventionin many different ways. Once people used the term only for technological advances and innovations; gradually, it came to be used to reveal, criticize, or reappraise diverse phenomena. My use of the terminventionis to denaturalize and deessentialize the category of Asia or Asian women. The fundamental dangers and problems in this naturalized and essentialized category of Asia or Asian women lie in its mode of seeing: fixed, homogenized, and unchanging. The terminventionfurther calls for close scrutiny of the geopolitical constructedness of Asia and Asian women as genderized ethnicity and ethnicized gender....

  8. 4 Radical Border–Traversing Postcolonial Feminist Theology
    (pp. 107-130)

    Postcolonialism has emerged as one of the major critical discourses in academia since its development in the 1980s. Defining postcolonialism is, however, not easy due to its complexity and the variety of its implications. Postcolonial scholars tend to split over the question as to whether postcolonialism implies certainhistoricality, pertaining to a specific time and space, or if it entailstranshistoricality.⁴ That scholars write the term in two ways,post-colonialismandpostcolonialism, further reveals the multiple understandings and perceptions of postcolonialism itself.⁵ Some scholars use the two terms interchangeably without making a distinction between them. Scholars who emphasize the historical,...

  9. 5 From Epistemology to Hermeneutics Theopolitical Implications of Postmodernism
    (pp. 131-162)

    It has almost become a commonplace to call our world “postmodern.” In discussions about the contemporary world, the termpostmodernismis one of those words that people use frequently and often abuse.⁴ The range of interpretations, presentations, meanings, definitions, and descriptions of the termpostmodernismis unbelievably broad, diverse, and complex, and often contradictory. It would be, therefore, appropriate for those who take one’sDasein(“being-in-the-world”) seriously to engage this postmodernZeitgeist, the ethos/spirit of our time. Federico De Onis (1882–1932) first conceived the term in hisAntologia de la poesia espanola e hispanoamericana, published in 1934, and Arnold...

  10. 6 Out of Places Feminist Theology of Dis/location in a Global Context
    (pp. 163-192)

    Questions of one’s dis/location become more and more elusive today, geopolitically, historically, and discursively. Trying to find an answer to this question of dis/location is also a serious ontological endeavor of finding one’s way of be-ing as an ever-moving verb, not a nevermoving noun.² Dis/location is ever becoming and ever moving. My use of the termdis/location, compounded from the wordsdislocationandlocation, is to reveal the entangled nature of those terms. A politics of location, first coined by Adrienne Rich, emerged in the early 1980s as a discourse of difference, especially in U.S. academic feminist discourse, as a...

  11. 7 Glocal Feminist Theology in an Era of Neoempires
    (pp. 193-220)

    Asianfeminist theology, like any other theology, is always in the making. I use the wordAsianin italics inAsianfeminist theology to denote its contestable and stereotypical nature when people use the term in different types of Asian theological discourses. AsAsiacan never be regarded as a monolithic entity, it is misleading and even distorting to define in a monolithic way what constitutes Asia primarily as overwhelming poverty and multifaceted religiosity. The history of Asian theological engagement with feminism has not been explored in great detail in the various disciplines of theology over the last few decades....

  12. 8 Transethnic Feminist Theology in an Era of Globalization
    (pp. 221-252)

    Today the wordglobalizationis an all-purpose catchword both in popular and scholarly discourse; it is “on the lips of politicians, professors, and pundits alike.”³ People in different areas use the term in highly disparate ways and its meaning often is elusive. Globalization easily risks becoming a cliché as different people use and misuse it for their purposes. The most common interpretation of globalization is the idea that the world is becoming more uniform, homogenized, standardized, and compressed through a technological, commercial, and cultural synchronization emanating from the West. Corporations, markets, finance, banking, transportation, communication, and production increasingly cut across...

  13. 9 Negotiating the Alternative Women’s Choice of Christianity in a Non–Christian World
    (pp. 253-290)

    In most countries in Asia, one chooses to become, rather than happens to be, a Christian. When one makes a religious choice for a foreign religion such as Christianity, one bases the choice on the difference from, not the similarity with, the existing indigenous religions. In this chapter, I will illustrate the critical differences, as the ground of women’sreligious choice-in-differencebetween Confucianism and Christianity. Challenging the status quo of religions and moving toward a more just and transformative religion require breaking what I would call an ecumenical taboo, which discourages one from addressing critical differences between religions. I will...

  14. 10 Resurgence of Asian Values Confucian Comeback and Its Embodiment in Christianity
    (pp. 291-322)

    The debate on Asian values has expanded considerably in the last couple of decades. At the core of Asian values lies Confucian familism, with its emphasis on human-relatedness. Feminists have exposed the oppressive potential of the resurgence of Confucian familism and challenged the Confucian concept of family. In this chapter, I first will juxtapose Confucian and Christian familism, and critically reevaluate them from a feminist perspective. In the process, I will explore the similarities and differences between the two concepts of familism. Second, I shall put Confucian familism under scrutiny, and show how people in Korea have practiced it in...

  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 323-356)
  16. Index
    (pp. 357-378)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 379-379)