The introduction explains the political, theoretical and epistemological context of the investigation. The publication focuses on the new role of religion and gender in the public sphere. It analyses the interdependence of religion, gender and new nationalisms in Europe, South Africa and the U.S.A. It scrutinises biopolitical interferences of nation states and dominant political and religious institutions. The study is especially interested in counter-discourses, spaces of activism and agency as, for instance, in Eastern European dissidence, for example in the Peaceful Revolution of 1989 in Germany, and in the Occupy Wall Street movement. The work thematises religion, gender, visual culture and performativity after the post-secular turn in Europe and Mali. It investigates the construction of gender, religion and sexuality within international instruments like the Human Rights Codex and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The examples of discourse analysis enable a critique of religion and gender beyond the historical context.
The book attempts to elaborate an epistemological framework for the theoretisation of religion and gender. Identity politics in gender and religion are carefully questioned as contemporary varieties of essentialism and reworked with the notion of individual and collective agency. A main aim is to understand gender and religion as intersectional categories, that is, as discursive performative categories of knowledge production, and to advocate them as deessentialised and disidentified concepts. The focus is particularly on the performative emergence of new knowledge and the radical social imaginary.