Apophatic Bodies: Negative Theology, Incarnation, and Relationality / Edition 3

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Overview


The ancient doctrine of negative theology or apophasis-the attempt to describe God by speaking only of what cannot be said about the divine perfection and goodness-has taken on new life in the concern with language and its limits that preoccupies much postmodern philosophy, theology, and related disciplines. How does this mystical tradition intersect with the concern with material bodies that is simultaneously a focus in these areas? This volume pursues the unlikely conjunction of apophasis and the body, not for the cachet of the cutting edgebut rather out of an ethical passion for the integrity of all creaturely bodies as they are caughtup in various ideological mechanisms-religious, theological, political, economic-that threaten their dignity and material well-being. The contributors, a diverse collection of scholars in theology, philosophy, history, and biblical studies, rethink the relationship between the concrete tradition of negative theology and apophatic discourses widely construed. They further endeavor to link these to the theological theme of incarnation and more general issues of embodiment, sexuality, and cosmology. Along the way, they engage and deploy the resources of contextual and liberation theology, post-structuralism, postcolonialism, process thought, and feminism.The result not only recasts the nature and possibilities of theological discourse but explores the possibilities of academic discussion across and beyond disciplines in concrete engagement with the well-being of bodies, both organic and inorganic. The volume interrogates the complex capacities of religious discourse both to threaten and positively to draw upon the material well-being of creation.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This volume is a luminescent contribution to the fields of theology and philosophy, taking up from a variety of disciplinary positions the ancient little problem of the body and its stubborn escapes from-and creative contributions to-theological discourse. These essays clearly represent scholarly exchange even as each can stand alone; they have been masterfully edited into a work that, taken as a whole, give us at last a non-reductive mode of thinking toward embodiment. -Laurel C. Schneider

Deepens and broadens the rediscovery of apophatic theology that is currently occuring in various fields of study.-Marion Grau

Takes the current discussions about negative or apophatic theologyto the next level by crossing apophaticism with the theme of material bodies, and the result is a powerful and important set of cutting-edge theoreticalessays.-Clayton Crockett

...this volume marks a valuable contribution to theological studies, to the engagement between theologians, philosophers, literary critics, and all those who question, suspect, and, perhaps, seek to push further a uniquely theological discourse.- Jonathan L. Zecher

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823230815
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2009
  • Series: Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia Series
  • Edition description: 3
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

CHRIS BOESEL is Associate Professor of Christian Theology in the Theological School and Graduate Division of Religion at Drew University. His most recent book is Risking Proclamation, Respecting Difference: Christian Faith, Imperialistic Discourse, and Abraham.

CATHERINE KELLER is Professor of Constructive Theology in the Theological School and Graduate Division of Religion at Drew University. She co-edited with Virginia Burrus the first volume of the Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia, Toward a Theology of Eros: Transfiguring Passion at the Limits of Discipline (Fordham), and co-edited with Laurel Kearns its second volume, Ecospirit: Philosophies and Religions for the Earth (Fordham). Previous books include Face of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming and On the Mystery: Discerning Divinity in Process.

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