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The Power And Ambiguity Of Symbols: Contemporary Religion And The Search For A Feminine Divine

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses two distinct examples of a non-hegemonic feminist search, namely religious feminism as invoked in Dan Brown's popular novel The Da Vinci Code and in the performative theology of the Reclaiming Witches of San Francisco. Both agencies are linked to and draw on popular culture, including its association with deviant superstitious practices. For this reason alone they are both highly controversial. The chapter outlines the ways in which the Reclaiming community has tried to retrieve a wider horizon, discovering new symbols of relatedness such as Goddess and Witch, and embarking on the process of ritualizing to enable the newly discovered transformative agency to take place and inhabit bodies. It points to the experience of seeking ritual possession and bonding through/with an external-internal instrumental agency in order to reshape desire, negotiate feelings of separation and interdependence, and set a new standard of conduct, a new freedom befitting a Witch.

Keywords: Reclaiming Witches; religious feminism; religious symbols; ritual possession; The Da Vinci Code

10.1163/ej.9789004178267.i-236.66
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004178267.i-236.66
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