Natalie Carnes

Natalie Carnes, Baylor University, will lecture on "Attunement: The Feminist Voice and Christianity’s Patriarchal Tradition" on Tuesday, December 10th at 4:30pm, Swift Common Room.

Abstract: This talk proposes attunement as an interpretive strategy that is potentially generative for feminist theology. It argues that attunement offers feminists a way to engage the patriarchal inheritance that constitutes the bulk of the Christian tradition without making feminists outsiders to that tradition. It is a reading posture that acknowledges attachments, and so insinuates the possibility of reading misogynistic texts as feminists while remaining internal to the streams of interpretation by which these texts continue to speak. Unlike the dominant interpretive modes of avoidance and critique, then, attunement suggests that feminists might claim the theological tradition as their own. The work attunement can do is exemplified in this talk by engaging Augustine’s Confessions as a text about attunement and which, additionally, attunement can give to feminist theologians anew.

Natalie Carnes is Associate Professor of Theology and affiliated faculty inWomen’s and Gender Studies at Baylor University. Her research draws on feminist theory, aesthetics, and ordinary language philosophy to make constructive theological arguments in conversation with texts and artifacts of Christianity. She has published two books, the more recent of which is Image and Presence: A Christological Reflection on Iconoclasm and Iconophilia (Stanford 2017), and she has a book forthcoming this spring, Motherhood: A Confession (Stanford 2020). Currently she is at work on two new book projects. One probes the intersection of poverty, luxury, and art to ask how Christians can justify making and supporting art in a world of extreme need. The other treats reading practices in feminist theology.