How does reading and writing become a celebratory act for women

Redhead, Selah Ann (1997) How does reading and writing become a celebratory act for women. MTh(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
PDF (scanned version of the original print thesis)
Download (9MB) | Preview
Printed Thesis Information:


This inquiry's thesis is a meditation on the question: how does reading and writing became a celebratory act for women? In Chapter 1, I begin by stating the hermeneutical method I will engage to explore this question. In a sense this hermeneutical method is a manifestation of the question itself and it poses articulations towards addressing the crisis inherent within the question. By engaging plural metaphors and not 'minding the difference' between creative, metaphorical language and concept-critical language I am enabled to break down phallocentric reading principles and necessarily deconstruct traditional ways of reading. Furthermore, my hermeneutical method generates inter-text(s) that claim an autonomy which rigorously confronts the issues at hand. These two events, the breaking down of phallocentric reading traditions and inter-text(s) that claim an autonomy within the inquiry itself make a theological language of 're-membering' available to me. By placing the question: how does reading and writing become a celebratory act for women? in juxtaposition with Robert Detweiler's exploration of 'religious reading" and the community that participates in such an event, I examined the two guiding conditions that seal his model: the atmosphere of festival and the event of reading as a celebratory act for individuals and for groups. The Result of exploring Detweiler's model of 'religious reading' laid the foundation for my suspicion that 'celebration' means something very different for women historical and presently. This research enabled me to make the claim that women cannot celebrate according to its current understanding and therefore 'celebration' needed to be radically reviewed. To begin to approach the subject of re-membering what 'celebration' means, I discussed the phenomenon of ordination. I concluded that ordination, meaning in some manifestation 'to call out', is not an ecclesiastical convention, but an event that belong to the realm of language in which ordination is an expression of the frustration of language's attempts 'to call out' or to move towards the sign. The goal in Chapter 2: 'Reading the Johannine Narrative' is to trace the woman centred hermeneutical tradition. I bring my own hermeneutical method to the fourth gospel where I 'read' various textual moments. The objective of this goal is not to end up with 'celebration in its re-membered form, but rather to trace this woman centred hermeneutical tradition, to identify its features and to confront this woman centred hermeneutical tradition in action so that my subversive 'finding' of this exploration not only substantiate the claims I have been making thus far regarding women, reading and writing they also enable my inquiry to be pitched into a space of actually encountering 'celebration' in some of its re-membered manifestations Beginning with the body of the Virgin Mary in which I conclude that Jesus' worldly birth and the fourth gospel's urge towards baptism is a textual statement about woman's bodies and their textual status; in this context woman represents death. However, the other possibility as maintained by the woman centred hermeneutical tradition is that the Virgin Mary's statement, 'They have no wine' is an invocation of the actual, maternal body. Thus, a powerful re-memory is invoked that is the encouraging blood-line which enables women to read, write and interpret anyway. Conclusion Moving onto feminine bodies subjected to 'the gaze', I examine the history of the gaze and its multi-dimensional features: the gaze as an invocation of otherness for privileged knowledge, the gaze as a tool that distracts focus on women's actual bodies behaving in union, and finally the gaze as a commodity conductor which passes the bodies of women between borders of male ownership. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

Item Type: Thesis (MTh(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Dr. David Jasper.
Keywords: Christianity and literature, Johannine literature, women in Christianity, ordination.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Date of Award: 1997
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1997-71542
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 14:20
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 15:43
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.71542

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year