Religious Agency and the Limits of Intersectionality

Hypatia 30 (4):657-674 (2015)
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Abstract

This article probes the relative absence of religion within discussions of intersectionality, and begins to address this absence by bringing intersectionality studies into conversation with another significant field within feminist theory: the study of religious women's agency. Although feminist literatures on intersectionality and religious women's agency have garnered a great deal of scholarly attention, these two bodies of work have rarely been engaged together. After surveying both fields, I argue that research on religious women's agency not only exposes an ambiguity at the heart of intersectionality between identity and oppression, but also challenges several aspects of intersectionality studies, especially as recent theorists increasingly turn away from identity politics in favor of a structural critique of power. These aspects of intersectionality include its often unsituated critique of power, as well as its reliance on a negatively defined consensus on anti-oppression

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