Gender Studies Seminar Fall 2022: Religion, spirituality and gender. Human Dependence and Independence: Religious Thinking, Feminism, and Ethics
The Gender Studies Seminar is the open seminar series hosted by the Department of Gender Studies. For the fall 2022, we have invited scholars who, in different ways, discuss key issues at the intersection of gender and religion. The series also offer an opportunity to reflect upon the question if there is a feminist ethics.
Human Dependence and Independence: Religious Thinking, Feminism, and Ethics
Human dependence is a phenomenon with above all negative connotations, and it has been viewed as mutually exclusive to freedom. This is particularly the case in a country like Sweden, where independence is built into the societal system through an extensive social insurance system. However, through the lens of narrative and hermeneutical philosophy, the self can also be viewed as constructively dependent on others for its self-becoming. Here the self develops through telling its story and receiving its story from the other, thereby becoming a unique individual. Therefore, I maintain that not being able to exercise one’s constructive dependence may lead to subordination to the same extent as destructive dependences do. I point to narration as a spiritual means of meaning-making and a way to imagine a different future that supports action. In addition, such a narrative understanding of the human becoming gives balance to the polarity of particularity and universality.
Lovisa Nyman is a researcher in Systematic theology at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund university. She defended her thesis Det konstruktiva beroendet: Feministisk teologi i ett individualistiskt samhälle in 2020. Her current research project explores human becoming in relation to technology.