Thresholds of touch

revisiting the mat(t)er of the body in the work of Luce Irigaray

Authors

  • Wesley N. Barker Mercer University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/bar.17861

Keywords:

Irigaray, body, religion, matter, sexual difference, psychoanalysis

Abstract

This article introduces Irigaray’s notion of sexual difference as a pre-discursive, irreducible difference that is the possibility of desire and the condition of relation to the world. Couching Irigaray’s bodily language within her linguistic psychoanalytic and ethical frameworks for critiquing metaphysics, this article revisits the question of ‘body’ in Irigaray’s work in relation to the pre-discursive ‘materiality’ of sexual difference. By holding Irigaray’s theory of sexual difference together with her critique of metaphysics, the author asserts that beyond the language of immanence and transcendence, the materiality of Irigaray’s pre-discursive sexual difference constitutes the ‘stuff’ of radical alterity.

Author Biography

Wesley N. Barker, Mercer University

Wesley N. Barker, PhD, is associate professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Liberal Studies at Mercer University. Dr. Barker writes at the intersections of critical theory, gender studies, and religion with a focus on the work of Luce Irigaray. Dr. Barker has served as an advisory board member for the Irigaray Circle (irigaray.org) since 2018.

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Published

2021-08-23

How to Cite

Barker, W. N. . (2021). Thresholds of touch: revisiting the mat(t)er of the body in the work of Luce Irigaray. Body and Religion, 4(1), 105–129. https://doi.org/10.1558/bar.17861

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Section

Articles