The question for us today is how, in the many Os we might draw, and in the many circles we form on a daily basis, we negotiate our way across the empty spaces and the deep chasms they inevitably bring into our view, says Dr Andrew Hass. Yet Giotto’s legacy is not all lost: he at least tells us that something, even if that something is a “nothing”, remains there for our creation.
Very frequently, discourse about religion - which, with the changes in perception taking place in the world over the past decade has come back onto the global and political agenda with great force - remains stuck in a series of un-enlightening polarities.
Professor Naomi Goldenberg, from the Department of Classics and Religious Studies, University of Ottawa, is visiting Britain this coming week (21 – 28 April 2012) to give public and university addresses in Stirling, Aberdeen and London.
Key aspects of Christian (and notably Christendom) tradition have been used to cement or justify women's oppression. But dismissing Christianity simply as something to be thankfully consigned to history means consigning all the achievements of women who have identified themselves as Christian alongside it, says Alison Jasper. From this perspective, all Christian women are victims if not collaborators. A rounder picture is needed.
When governments are displaced they can persist within contemporary states as ‘religions’ that maintain their patriarchal origins and character, says Professor Naomi Goldenberg. Since women’s challenges to male domination have only met with some success in recent times within fairly contemporary forms of statecraft, if earlier states known as ‘religions’ are allowed too much authority over domains such as ‘the family’ or ‘the home,’ women will be the losers, she argues.
Religion scholar Professor Naomi Goldenberg, who is visiting Britain in April 2012, here outlines her hypothesis that religions can be productively thought of as 'vestigial states'. She considers this to be one way of de-essentialising, demystifying and deconstructing the category of 'religion'.