The Ritual of Everyday Life: Hindu Women’s Rituals, Mujerista Theology, and the Catholic Theology of Gender

  • Tracy Sayuki Tiemeier
Chapter
Part of the Pathways for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue book series (PEID)

Abstract

While the Catholic theology of gender places great emphasis on the gendered body, it tends to be overly abstract and simplistic. A more realistic theology of gender must be centered on actual women in the midst of their lives. This essay reflects on what a Catholic theology of gender can learn from Hindu women’s everyday rituals—which transform women’s bodies and channel power ritually through women to their families and society—in conversation with mujerista theology (Latina and Hispanic women’s theology). Ultimately, Tiemeier aims to reconstruct a broader ritual theology that decenters the male hierarchy, recenters the sacred on the gendered body engaged in the world, and expands the Catholic sacramental imagination into the ritual of everyday life.

Bibliography

  1. Anselm. Cur Deus Homo, 2.8. Internet Medieval Sourcebook. https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/basis/anselm-curdeus.asp#BCHAPTER VIII. Accessed 20 Oct 2017.
  2. Bhagavad Gita (Penguin Classics). Trans. Laurie L. Patton. London: Penguin Books, 2008.Google Scholar
  3. Harlan, Lindsey. 1994. Perfection and Devotion: Sati Tradition in Rajasthan. In Sati, the Blessing and the Curse: The Burning of Wives in India, ed. John Stratton Hawley. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 2007. Words That Breach Walls: Women’s Rituals in Rajasthan. In Women’s Lives, Women’s Rituals in the Hindu Tradition, ed. Tracy Pintchman. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Hawley, John Stratton, ed. 1994. Sati, the Blessing and the Curse: The Burning of Wives in India. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Isasi-Díaz, Ada María. 1996. Mujerista Theology: A Theology for the Twenty-First Century. Maryknoll: Orbis Books.Google Scholar
  7. ———. 2004. En La Lucha/In the Struggle: Elaborating a Mujerista Theology. 10th Anniversary Ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.Google Scholar
  8. ———. 2012. Mujerista Discourse: A Platform for Latinas’ Subjugated Knowledge. In Decolonizing Epistempologies: Latina/o Theology and Philosophy, ed. Ada María Isasi-Díaz and Eduardo Mendieta. New York: Fordham University Press.Google Scholar
  9. John Paul II. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. Vatican: May 22, 1994. https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_letters/1994/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_19940522_ordinatio-sacerdotalis.html. Accessed 20 Oct 2017.
  10. ———. Letter of Pope John Paul II to Women. Vatican: June 29, 1995. https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/letters/1995/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_29061995_women.html. Accessed 20 Oct 2017.
  11. Madan, T.N. 1985. Concerning the Categories Subha and Suddha in Hindu Culture: An Exploratory Essay. In Purity and Auspiciousnes in Indian Society, ed. John B. Carman and Frédérique A. Marglin. Leiden: E. J. Brill.Google Scholar
  12. McDaniel, June. 2003. Making Virtuous Daughters and Wives: An Introduction to Women’s Brata Rituals in Bengali Fold Religion. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  13. McElwee, Joshua J. 2016a. Francis Institutes Commission to Study Female Deacons, Appointing Gender-Balanced Membership. National Catholic Reporter, August 2. https://www.ncronline.org/news/vatican/francis-institutes-commission-study-female-deacons-appointing-gender-balanced. Accessed 20 Oct 2017.
  14. ———. 2016b. Pope Francis Confirms Finality of Ban on Ordaining Women Priests. National Catholic Reporter, November 1. https://www.ncronline.org/news/vatican/pope-francis-confirms-finality-ban-ordaining-women. Accessed 20 Oct 2017.
  15. McGee, Mary. 1991. Desired Fruits: Motive and Intention in the Votive Rites of Hindu Women. In Roles and Rituals for Hindu Women, ed. Julia Leslie. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Nagarajan, Vijaya Rettakudi. 2000. Rituals of Embedded Ecologies: Drawing Kolams, Marrying Trees, and Generating Auspiciousness. In Hinduism and Ecology: The Intersection of Earth, Sky, and Water, ed. Christopher Key Chapple and Mary Evelyn Tucker. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  17. ———. 2007. Threshold Designs, Forehead Dots, and Menstruation Rituals: Exploring Time and Space in Tamil Kolams. In Women’s Lives, Women’s Rituals in the Hindu Tradition, ed. Tracy Pintchma. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Pearson, Anne Mackenzie. 1996. “Because It Gives Me Peace of Mind”: Ritual Fasts in the Religious Lives of Hindu Women. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  19. Rambachan, Anantanand. 2015. A Hindu Theology of Liberation: Not-Two Is Not One. Reprint ed. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  20. Ratzinger, Joseph. Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women. Vatican: May, 31, 2004. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20040731_collaboration_en.html. Accessed 20 Oct 2017.
  21. Tertullian. 1999. On the Apparel of Women. In Eve & Adam: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Readings on Genesis and Gender, ed. Kristen E. Kvam, Linda S. Schearing, and Valarie H. Ziegler. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Upanisads (Oxford World’s Classics). Trans. Patrick Olivelle. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tracy Sayuki Tiemeier
    • 1
  1. 1.Loyola Marymount UniversityLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations