Giving Voice: The Contested Sites of Motherhood, Religion and Spirituality
Rachel Ellen Jones
George Mason University, US
Rachel Jones is Associate Professor of Philosophy and an Affiliated Faculty member of the Women and Gender Studies Program at George Mason University, Virginia. Her research and teaching interests conjoin Kant and post-Kantian continental philosophy with feminist philosophy to explore questions of embodiment, subjecthood, materiality, natality and birth, and difference. She is the author of 'Irigaray: Towards a Sexuate Philosophy' (Polity, 2011) and articles on Irigaray, Lyotard and Kant in the fields of aesthetics, feminist philosophy, and philosophy of education.
This afterword offers a reflective response to the methods and thematic content of the papers collected in this special issue on motherhood, religions and spirituality. It suggests that by using qualitative interviews to give voice to (other) women as well as to mothers themselves, the issue counters the traditional silencing of female and maternal experience. This feminist gesture echoes the corporeal generosity of birth as well as the dependency and relationality of the maternal scene. The response foregrounds the issue’s attentiveness to both the diverse intersections of mothering, religion and spiritual practice and the diversity of those who mother. It seeks to situate the resulting complexity in relation to a range of theoretical reference points (philosophical and theological; feminist, womanist, and queer) and concludes that, collectively, these papers present mothering as a site both of contestation and of precarious promise.