Feminism and Spiritual Citizenship

The question that motivates this essay is “What does spiritual citizenship look like through a feminist lens?” Feminists have long argued that even the most intimate aspects of our lives – our relationships, dreams, and aspirations – are not merely private, but have political dimensions. Perhaps nothing is more intimate than our relationship with the Divine, and there may indeed be something about this relationship that transcends politics. Nonetheless, the ways in which we communicate, practice, and build community around spirituality are deeply imbued with power. Patriarchal ideas about sex and gender infuse language and imagery about the Sacred, sexism and racism rife within many spiritual communities (even those that have seemingly eschewed religious dogmatism), and spiritual leaders remain overwhelmingly male and heterosexual. We need, as Leela Fernandes has argued, a “decolonization of the divine.”