Feminism, Constructivism and Numinous Experience

Religious Studies 30 (4):511 - 526 (1994)
This article brings together constructivist epistemology and feminist study of religion to provide phenomenological evidence that numinous consciousness is not the immediate, sui generis essence of religious experience that Rudolf Otto believed it to be. Whilst there are certain peculiarities in the Ottonian scheme that might make numinous consciousness unusually resistant to conceptual and ideological mediation, it can be shown that androcentric epistemological and axiological structures make the experience intelligible and worthy of accommodation within a given patriarchal religious tradition. By contrast, contemporary gynocentric spiritualities in which women celebrate their psychobiological difference as itself a necessary medium of religious experience, have no interest in protecting the holy from the limitations of its immanence.
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