Women's Mysteries: Toward a Poetics of Gender (Electra Series 2)

Overview

Christine Downing explores the psychology of women and the continual creation and alteration of gender identity, critiquing the work of Jung and Freud in this area and offering her own perspective on the rites of passage that are characteristic of a woman's life. Downing celebrates the gains and achievements of women, psychologically speaking, as they have been recovered, reclaimed and repossessed by women over the past several decades through a fascinating interweaving of the intellectual and the personal, the ...
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Overview

Christine Downing explores the psychology of women and the continual creation and alteration of gender identity, critiquing the work of Jung and Freud in this area and offering her own perspective on the rites of passage that are characteristic of a woman's life. Downing celebrates the gains and achievements of women, psychologically speaking, as they have been recovered, reclaimed and repossessed by women over the past several decades through a fascinating interweaving of the intellectual and the personal, the conceptual and the poetic, the mythological and the psychological. This exploration of a poetics of gender is as much for men as for women; it gives attention-from a feminine perspective, to be sure-to the mystery of the human and the humane.

Downing celebrates the gains and achievements of women, psychologically speaking, as they have been recovered, reclaimed, repossessed by women over the past several decades. Specifically what she works toward is a "poetics of gender, " seeing gender as a created reality always in the process of being made and remade, exploring the ways we humans imagine sexual difference and what longings and fears these images betray.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882670994
  • Publisher: Spring Journal
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Series: Electra Series 2
  • Pages: 237
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

CHRISTINE DOWNING, Ph.D., currently teaches in the Mythological Studies Doctoral Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, after serving for almost twenty years as chair of the Religious Studies Department at San Diego State University. Her thirteen books include The Goddess: Mythological Images of the Feminine, and,mostly recently, The Luxury of Afterwards and Preludes.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
1 Initiation: A Tribute to Esther Harding 1
2 Rites of Incorporation 13
Speaking Among Ourselves 15
Foremothers and Forefathers 22
Rites of Separation 26
A Poetics of Gender 34
3 Rites of Exorcism 41
Jung and Freud 45
A Herstory of Psychology 53
Beyond Psychology 60
4 Body and Soul 67
Anatomy and Destiny 70
A Poetics of the Body 75
The Mysteries of Female Embodiment 79
Women Born of Woman 81
Bleeding and Ceasing to Bleed 84
Sexual Awakening and Fulfillment 93
Birth Giving and Nurturing 104
Aging and Dying 120
5 Rites of Ancient Ripening 123
The Figure of the Crone 125
The Ambivalent Gifts of Aging 136
6 Even the Gods Will Die 147
Poets and Prophets 149
Beginning at the Beginning 156
Beyond the Anthropomorphic 167
Egyptian Goddesses 170
Notes 179
Index 189
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