RELG 271 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Karl Rahner, Erik Erikson, Cisgender

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RELG 271
Lecture 6
Sexual Identity
Identity: how one fits into society (cultural groups, community groups, social groups etc.)
-How one defines themselves — not static or dynamic
Sex plays a role in identity discourse — what things can we or can we not choose
-What part of identity is related to ethnicity, culture, religion, birthplace…
-All of those things are unable to be chosen
-Certain parts of identity that can only be received
Identity: Jaapdoek — not possible to define identity
-Alice Hearst: a fluid and ambiguous concept
-Constantly in progress, never finished, never complete — there is a foundation of identity,
built upon things that are given to us without our control
-Erik Erikson — “a sense of personal sameness and historical continuity” (Identity: Youth &
Crisis)
“When we are born, we may accept of hate our existence, but we cannot get rid of it. Human
freedom is always a reaction to something that we have not chosen; it is not merely creative in
an empty space” — Karl Rahner
-Cannot get rid of our existence — ex. to Baptize someone is to take their autonomy as they
are not able to object
Four categories of Identity: George Stewart
-Familial — natural parents, family, ancestors, family name
-Identity is made up due to family connections
-The idea that you exist as part of your heritage, and a lineage moving forward
-Ex. slavery — social death due to someone else taking control of their body and taking
away their heritage and denying their lineage
-Tribal — ethnic, cultural, religious
-Practises and beliefs that people follow, the community that gathers these things
-Can shape one’s world view — possible to grow to hate one’s own identity or world view
that has been passed on, but impossible to fully rid yourself from it and reject it
-Biological
-Medical and genetic information about oneself, ancestors/ blood relatives
-Historical data like place and time of birth, both important events
-Political — nationality
-One can identity as something different than their nationality
“After the right to life, which is the principle human right, the right to identity is the next one.
Because if people don’t know who they are, they can’t develop their lives fully. I believe the right
to identity is essential to being human”
-Someone adopting a child as their own—taking one from their biological family to be raised
by the enemy—notion of identity
-Push to state that the biological connection matters as an issue of justice
-Brings upon the issue of what kind of information the child should have access too about their
biological parents
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