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To Him the Winged Secret Flame, To Her the Stooping Starlight: The Social Construction of Gender in Contemporary Ordo Templi Orientis
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, History of Religions.
2013 (English)In: The Pomegranate, ISSN 1528-0268, Vol. 15, no 1-2, 102-121 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Based on fieldwork in the United States, the article analyses the social construction of gender in contemporary OTO. The article addresses an important and often neglected area of study in research on Western esotericism, and discusses how the notion of binary gender is both created and challenged in interactions between OTO members. Thelemic divinity as presented in Liber AL is envisioned as consisting of a divine father, Hadit, mother Nuit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit, their divine offspring. Despite the gender polarity constructed thus, contemporary OTO members stretch the boundaries of binary gender through a plethora of deities, personal gender performances and acceptance of different sexual orientations and lifestyles. The creativity and innovation of contemporary OTO members' gender constructions demonstrates the necessity of greater methodological diversity in research on Western esotericism, in order to allow an understanding of esoteric traditions as lived religions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 15, no 1-2, 102-121 p.
Keyword [en]
Aleister Crowley, gender, Judith Butler, sexuality, Thelema, Western esotericism
National Category
History of Religions Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-233133DOI: 10.1558/pome.v15i1-2.102ISI: 000340998400007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-233133DiVA: diva2:750672
Available from: 2014-09-29 Created: 2014-09-29 Last updated: 2014-09-29Bibliographically approved

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