"The personal is political is spiritual": feminism and religion in modern Britain

Lindley, Ruth Margaret (2020). "The personal is political is spiritual": feminism and religion in modern Britain. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis shows how spirituality was a key component of feminist political cultures in Britain from the 1970s, taking an active role in the Women’s Liberation movement, at Greenham Common and beyond. However, taken for granted assumptions about the secularism of modern feminist politics, which intersect with broader narratives of inevitable religious decline, have relegated spiritual politics to the sidelines of feminist history, making them invisible when they were, in fact, present and central.
This thesis has a dual purpose. First, as a social historical recovery of the Goddess movement – an attempt by feminists to stake a claim to images of the divine – which determined the shape and form of radical feminist spirituality in Britain for over forty years, but remains misunderstood or ignored in histories of feminism and religious change. Second, to insist upon the decentralising position of spirituality in our histories of modern and contemporary Britain. Paying attention to belief as a major site of historical analysis forces us to recognise and revise the assumptions that underpin the ways we understand our recent past, highlighting the limits of possibility within the secular narratives of conventional academic history and making us rethink our foundational concepts, assumptions and methods. Because the Goddess movement confounds the disciplinary conventions of traditional history writing, this thesis also experiments with new narrative forms that seek to reflect, rather than deny, the metaphysical experiences of Goddess feminists.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of History
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/10404


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