Recognizing Other Subjects : Feminist Pastoral Theology and the Challenge of Identity

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Recognizing Other Subjects : Feminist Pastoral Theology and the Challenge of Identity
How do we care justly when selves suffer because of the identities that they inhabit? Pastoral theologian Katharine Lassiter approaches this interdisciplinary question from a feminist perspective in order to understand how suffering, subject formation, and social injustice are interconnected. Reflecting on tensions in her own experiences of caring for selves, Lassiter identifies the challenges of identity in developing a pastoral theological anthropology. Drawing from theories of recognition, she argues that doing just care requires recognizing the need for recognition as well as understanding the impediments to receiving interpersonal, social, and theological recognition. Bringing together resources from pastoral theology and social theory, she develops a feminist pastoral theology and praxis of encounter in order to advance a care that does justice. Scholars, social justice practitioners, and pastoral caregivers will be able to use this resource to understand not only how and why recognition affects human development but also how we might implement a liberative theological praxis attentive to the role of recognition in subject formation. ""Competent, compassionate, and just pastoral care needs a contemporary Christian anthropology that opens up an understanding and respect of persons in their diverse subjectivities. The author blends theology with important insights from the social and behavioral sciences in shaping a text that provides an enlightened perspective on personal identity and 'recognition' of others--inter-subjective recognition, social recognition, and theological recognition. In a time when discriminatory stereotypes and profiling continue to dominate our culture, the author also addresses the critical need to recognize injustice. Highly recommended."" --Robert Ludwig, Director, Sophia Center in Culture and Spirituality, Holy Names University ""Becoming who we are is, as Lassiter puts it, 'not a game.' And having an adequately nuanced understanding of the processes of becoming selves is critical for advancing the causes of love and justice. Drawing on interdisciplinary sources to offer a fresh perspective on identity, Lassiter highlights the moral and theological importance of recognition. Weaving persons' narratives throughout, Lassiter helps the reader understand more fully how the deeply personal and profoundly political are held together in our very being."" --Barbara J. McClure, Associate Professor, Pastoral Theology and Practice, Brite Divinity School ""Kate Lassiter brilliantly tackles a huge problem in feminist theology--fixation on identity (gender/race/class/orientation, etc.) and failure to grasp the whole of human subjectivity. Her corrective is equally compelling and defies simple summary: analysis of recognition that includes a searing look at structural violence and political repression, lament, confrontation, and so much more. You simply need to read the book to grasp how to accompany others in 'just care.' A truly path-breaking book."" --Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture, The Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion Vanderbilt University ""Pastoral theology needs a theory and practice of recognition that can work with and beyond identity politics, argues Lassiter. In accessible and inviting prose, she cultivates those resources in dialogue with feminist and queer theorist Judith Butler, queer Argentinian theologian Marcella Althaus-Reid, and psychoanalyst Jessica Benjamin. A profound and important contribution to her field and to all who share Lassiter's sense of obligation to those relegated to the margins of church and society."" --Ellen T. Armour, Carpenter Associate Professor of Feminist Theology; Director, Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender and Sexuality, Divinity School Affiliated Faculty, Philosophy and Women's and Gender Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, Vanderbilt Divinity School Katharin
Publication Date: 
November 11, 2015