Beyond totem and idol, the sexuate other

Continental Philosophy Review 40 (4):353-364 (2007)
The author interprets idolatry, totemism, sacrilege and taboo through her theory of sexual difference and her study of Eastern spirituality. She argues that the taboo on spirituality in Western culture has cancelled difference, resulting in our current forms of idolatry. Preserving difference, however, would allow the transcendence of the human other to exist. The task of learning to respect difference is central to human spirituality and spiritual progression. The article is a translation of “La transcendance de l’autre” in Autour d’idôlatrie: figures actuelles de pouvoir et de domination, Ed. Bernard Van Meenen, Publications des Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis, Brussels: 2003.
Keywords Difference  Idolatry  Other  Taboo  Totem  Transcendence
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DOI 10.1007/s11007-007-9058-1
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