Accepted Paper:

Sexuality and spirituality: intercultural experiences of Tai Chi Chuan female practitioners  
Nicole Zaneti (Catholic University of Brasilia)

Paper short abstract:

We present a comparative, phenomenological, investigation into the sexuality and spirituality of Brazilian and English practitioners of Tai Chi Chuan. In particular we consider the way that these movements generate a spiritual experience through a sense of connectedness with both self and other.

Paper long abstract:

As part of an in-depth study of the integrated experience of spirituality and sexuality, we carried out a phenomenological investigation of the way that this binomial is experienced by Brazilian and English female practitioners of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) - A Chinese martial art that is widely practiced for its health benefits. In this paper we will present a phenomenological reading of two interviews, one performed with a Brazilian woman and the other with an English woman. The data drawn from these demonstrates that the different ways that the concepts of spirituality and sexuality are employed by the Brazilian and English informants rests on a distinction between the integrated experiences of seemingly diverse arenas. This leads to a consideration of the role that TCC plays in either the integration of, or the awareness of the integration of, female sexuality and spirituality. This, in turn, prompts the suggestion that in geographically disparate areas the practice of these controlled movements generates spiritual experiences that raise awareness of female sexuality and improve wellbeing.

Panel MB-SSR03
Moments of "grace": exoreligious experiences of the numinous