Apophatic Bodies: Negative Theology, Incarnation, and by Chris Boesel, Catherine Keller

By Chris Boesel, Catherine Keller

The traditional doctrine of damaging theology or apophasis-the try and describe God via talking simply of what can't be acknowledged in regards to the divine perfection and goodness-has taken on new lifestyles within the trouble with language and its limits that preoccupies a lot postmodern philosophy, theology, and comparable disciplines. How does this mystical culture intersect with the worry with fabric our bodies that's at the same time a spotlight in those components? This quantity pursues the not likely conjunction of apophasis and the physique, now not for the cachet of the slicing edgebut particularly out of a moral ardour for the integrity of all creaturely our bodies as they're caughtup in quite a few ideological mechanisms-religious, theological, political, economic-that threaten their dignity and fabric future health. The members, a various selection of students in theology, philosophy, historical past, and religious study, reconsider the connection among the concrete culture of destructive theology and apophatic discourses broadly construed. They extra activity to hyperlink those to the theological subject of incarnation and extra basic problems with embodiment, sexuality, and cosmology. alongside the best way, they interact and installation the assets of contextual and liberation theology, post-structuralism, postcolonialism, technique concept, and feminism.The consequence not just recasts the character and probabilities of theological discourse yet explores the chances of educational dialogue throughout and past disciplines in concrete engagement with the health and wellbeing of our bodies, either natural and inorganic. the quantity interrogates the complicated capacities of spiritual discourse either to threaten and definitely to attract upon the cloth overall healthiness of construction.

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Additional info for Apophatic Bodies: Negative Theology, Incarnation, and Relationality (Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia)

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Of course these theologies that unfold contemporary interest in the body do not normally attend to embodiment as such, in its cosmological or biophysical dynamism, so much as to the systems, social and ecclesial, that enmesh everybody in networks of power, giving some bodies speech while withholding it from others. I for one would have no theological voice (voix) or way (voie) without these twentieth-century identity movements. They have called attention to the needs, the desires, the contexts of our constructed materialities; to the humiliations that distribute crucifixion more freely than any eucharist.

Perhaps we are learning to pause at that edge as at Cusa’s wall, to enter that cloud, despite its catherine keller ͉ 35 costs, with curiosity and occasional gratitude. I am suggesting that if the finite body and the apophatic infinite will fruitfully coincide, after long contradiction, it may be because of a peculiar opening in Cusa’s wall: not into God tout court, but into the space of the creation, not as a singular event but as an eventive cosmos. FOLDOUT GOD Piercing the wall of contraries, Cusa proceeds to violate the principal boundary of classical theism, that between the creator and the creation.

14 Strange apophatic eucharist: to feed on God in order to do violence to myself. How inviting is that? Not that Cusa is speaking of mortifying the flesh (he does not; this is no hero for Opus Dei). His cloud is a complex metonymy of tropes about language, about epistemology. But when invited to hurt myself, my feminism raises its contrary head. ’’ The more sealed the boundaries of some established binary, the more violent their rupture. Poststructuralism, she elaborates, makes commonplace reference to cutting, wounding, laceration.

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