The Deepening Darkness: Patriarchy, Resistance, and Democracy's Future

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9781107672338: The Deepening Darkness: Patriarchy, Resistance, and Democracy's Future

Why is America again unjustly at war? Why is its politics distorted by wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage? Why is anti-Semitism still so powerfully resurgent? Such contradictions within democracies arise from a patriarchal psychology still alive in our personal and political lives in tension with the equal voice that is the basis of democracy. The book joins a psychological approach with a political-theoretical one that traces both this psychology (based on loss in intimate life) and resistance to it (based on the love of equals) to the Roman Republic and Empire and to three Latin masterpieces: Virgil's Aeneid, Apuleius's The Golden Ass, and Augustine's Confessions. Democratic resistance in religion, psychology, the arts, and politics rests on free voices challenging patriarchal restrictions on the love of equals. In addition to examining why we are at war, this book explains many other aspects of our present situation including why movements of ethical resistance are often accompanied by a freeing of sexuality and why we are witnessing an aggressive fundamentalism at home and abroad.

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Book Description:

This book explores why love is so problematic and violence so endemic, tracing these human problems to a systematic disruption of intimate relationships. From the Rome of Augustus to the present, patriarchy is at the root of these problems, as well as racism and sexism. Equality in love lies at the roots of democracy, and political resistance is the same resistance that couples summon in loving.

About the Author:

Carol Gilligan has been University Professor at New York University since 2002. She is also a visiting professor at the University of Cambridge affiliated with the Centre for Gender Studies and with Jesus College. She previously taught at Harvard University for more than thirty years and became Harvard's first gender studies professor in 1997. Her groundbreaking book, In a Different Voice (1982) led to critical acclaim, after which she initiated the Harvard Project on Women's Psychology and Girls' Development and co-authored or edited five books. She received a Senior Research Scholar Award from the Spencer Foundation, a Grawemeyer Award for her contributions to education, and a Heinz Award for her contributions to understanding the human condition, and was named by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential Americans. Most recently, The Birth of Pleasure (2002) was described by the Times Literary Supplement as 'a thrilling new paradigm.' Her play, 'The Scarlet Letter,' was part of the 2007 WomenCenterStage festival in New York City and will be produced by The Culture Project next year. Her monologue, 'My House Is Wallpapered with Lies,' was performed as part of the June 2006 V-Day festival, 'Until the Violence Stops: NYC.' Her first novel, Kyra, was published in 2008.

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