Gender and the Problem of Universals: Catholic Mobilizations and Sexual Democracy in France

In: Religion and Gender
Éric Fassin
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In the 1980s, John Boswell analyzed the controversy between ‘essentialists’ and ‘constructionists’ in gay and lesbian studies in the light of the medieval ‘problem of universals.’ This paper revives this analogy to understand the controversy launched by Catholic authorities against the (so-called) ‘theory-of-gender’ pitted against gender studies at the risk of equating God with Nature.

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