Denial or Sustenance? Hong Kong Women’s Spirituality in Face of Life Crises

By Wai Ching Angela Wong.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 3, 2016 $US5.00

Given the predominant religious teachings for women in the practice of self-sacrifice, perseverance, and obedience to authorities, the call for spiritual formation has been criticized by feminists as a means of domestication for women that fundamentally denies their self-consciousness for autonomy and independence. Since the eighties, feminist religious scholars have begun to talk about a spirituality of liberation for women in which they are no longer encouraged to seek only the good of the others but also that of themselves and not to seek self-sacrifice but instead self-assertion as a response to their divine nature of creation. Nevertheless, this study with Christian and Daoist women in Hong Kong finds that the demarcation between individual and other-centeredness, self-sacrifice and self-assertion, and submission and liberation are not as clear-cut as feminists believe. The attention to the individual, or so to speak, an internal (divine) voice, has provided women with unusual strength to cope and to “liberate” themselves in times of critical marital crisis. In sum, the pursuit of spirituality in women gives them a unique path in thinking of themselves in light of a larger whole, manifested as a divine system of beliefs and community, and to seek good for themselves, rather than for others.

Keywords: Women’s Spirituality, Christian and Daoist Women, Women’s Corporate Subject

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 6, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.93-106. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 3, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 397.040KB)).

Prof. Wai Ching Angela Wong

Associate Professor, Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong