chapter  Chapter 5
15 Pages

Divine Women and The Nehanda Mhondoro

Strengths and Limitations of the Sensible Transcendental in a Post-Colonial World of Religious Women
WithMary L. Keller

In ‘Divine Women’ Irigaray adopts a Feuerbachian and Lacanian analysis of ‘Good Old God’ as a masculine projection of an ideal that guarantees masculine gender. Nehanda is neither ‘woman’ nor a representative of all African women. In a related vein, agency is reconfigured in several important post-colonial texts that argue that women’s agency in India, Africa, and other post-colonial countries cannot be understood adequately using the Western feminist grid that presupposes individual, democratic and autonomous agency as an ideal. To dismiss religious subjectivity as anachronistic, as does much critical theory, is to dismiss much that continues to be constitutive of women’s identity globally. Irigaray walks an interesting line between remembering women and remembering and forgetting God, a line that makes her work very important for the project of thinking subjectivity in light of post-colonial valuations of indigenous memories and the importance of traditional practices.