The “Sacred Feminine” in the age of the blockbuster
This dissertation project examines the concept of the "Sacred Feminine" and its mobilization in current popular culture, both as a phenomenon and as a problem to be addressed by 21st-century feminists. First, I trace the development of the concept in the work of second-wave feminist theologians of the 1970's and 1980's, who adapted the concept from the work of comparative mythologists such as James Frazer and Robert Graves. Then I examine how the concept is used in Dan Brown's bestselling adventure novel, the controversial The Da Vinci Code, as well as how it reappears, transformed in various ways, in the myriad discourses generated by the novel. Finally, I turn to the work of Julia Kristeva, which is typified by a radically different approach to the concept of the "Sacred Feminine" than that of Anglo-American feminists and which also includes an adventure novel, Murder in Byzantium, which is itself a response to Dan Brown's novel.
0733: Gender studies