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This essay attempts to describe some basic aspects of the political logic of religious belief by reference to some recent work of Sarah Coakley. It does so in two parts. First we examine two models of God, the model of “competition,” shared by pop atheism and religious fundamentalism, and the model of “cooperation,” as espoused by classical religious belief. As an explication of this latter model, in the second part we examine what I term the “doxological feminism” of Sarah Coakley as it appears in her recent major work God, Sexuality and the Self. Coakley’s specific insight concerns the intrinsic connection between her religious practice of contemplative prayer and her theoretical reflection on the nature of desire, which is interrogated by reference to the thought of Jean Daniélou.


School of Philosophy

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Journal Article

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