Subscribe: Literature and Theology - current issue
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
animal  animals  article  christian  christology  cixous  cixous’  crashaw’s  dog  female  human  life  queer  religious  song songs  song 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Literature and Theology - current issue

Literature and Theology Current Issue

Published: Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2017 14:54:04 GMT


Encounters with Animals in Literature and Theology

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

In this introduction to the Special Issue on ‘Animals in Literature and Theology’, guest editor Hannah M. Strømmen provides an introductory survey of critical issues in the intersection of animal studies, religion and culture. This is followed by an overview of the articles brought together in this Special Issue.

What a (Sometimes Inanimate) Divine Animal and Plant Has to Teach Us About Being Human: John’s Jesus and Other Nonhumans

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

The Jesus of John’s Gospel is not, or not solely, a human being. The god-man is also a nonhuman animal (a lamb), a vegetable (a vine), vegetable byproducts (bread and a door), and inorganic energy, namely, electromagnetic radiation (light)—all epithets no more or no less metaphoric than ‘Son of God’. Of course, it is Son christology that has commanded centre stage since at least the fourth century. The nonhuman turn in theory, elicited in no small part by the global ecological crisis, impels a shift of attention from Son christology to animal christology, vegetal christology, and inorganic christology. This article seeks to stage that shift, arguing that the Fourth Gospel enacts a profound disturbance of what Mel Chen has termed the animacy hierarchy: the world-structuring human ranking of inorganic material, plant life, animal life, disabled life, ‘fully human’ life—and, one might add, divine life—in terms of perceived intrinsic worth. The Johannine Jesus enacts animacy in multiple interpenetrating nonhuman ways that invite less anthropocentric modes of affective engagement than the Christs of classic orthodoxy, Christs supposedly modelled on the Johannine Jesus.

Animal Poetics: Marianne Moore, Ted Hughes and the Song of Songs

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

In animal studies the Bible is often deemed a problematic anthropocentric heritage. There are, however, texts in the biblical archive that trouble such a judgment. Despite the picture given in scholarship on the Song of Songs, that (human) love and sex are at the centre of the poetry, animals are everywhere in the text. In order to take account of these animals and the relationship between animality and poetry, I suggest that the twentieth-century poems of Marianne Moore and Ted Hughes provide a promising point of departure for rethinking the animal imagery of the Song of Songs. Moore and Hughes are both known for their animal imagery that plays with the possibilities and impossibilities of representation, exposing the tensions between the metaphorical and the literal, the mythic and the real. Rather than providing a niche ‘animal reading’ of the Song of Songs, I argue that the links between Moore, Hughes and the Song, open up for a renewed exploration of the idea of biblical poetry, as well as a rich engagement with the animal lives that abide so abundantly in these textual landscapes.

Traces of a Half-Forgotten Dog: Suffering and Animal Humanity in Hélène Cixous’ Algerian Scenes

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Hélène Cixous’ engagement with animals is a significant but neglected aspect of her work. In this article I trace one specific character among her animals, Fips, a dog she had when she was living in Algiers during the late 1940s. By reflecting on this figure, I outline the way the dehumanising logic of colonialism and anti-Semitism are critiqued by Cixous. I lift up her themes of relationality and corporeality as constructive for animal studies. Taking the work of Jacques Derrida as a starting point, the article shows how Cixous’ primal encounter with Fips produces a wound that, belatedly, ruptures the barriers between herself and this dog; its dehiscence reveals Fips’ ‘profound animal humanity’ generated by shared suffering, finitude, and love. The lesson Cixous learns from revivifying the memory of this dog is, I suggest, how to become more human. The ‘humanity’ of the dog is the capacity to see and indeed love outside preconceived ideas: ‘Perhaps the irony is that we are never more human than when we are dogs.’ Becoming more human is an assault on the borders of racialised exclusion and a challenge to the false humanism of the colonial project.

To Hear the Unheard—Or Reimagining Representation with Primo Levi and Hélène Cixous

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

With a common Jewish heritage and a personal relation to the Holocaust, both Primo Levi and Hélène Cixous have a desire, even a craving, to write. They aim to hear the unheard and to re-present the ‘unheard’ in different but distinct ways. Levi uses animal symbols and Cixous not only uses her ‘magical animots’ but creatively elaborates on human and animal differences through what could be called her ‘animal thinking’. I argue that Levi’s animal symbols and Cixous’ animal thinking can prompt a constructive reimagining of how we re-present self and other beyond the confines of the ‘human’. In this article I explore Levi’s and Cixous’ way of interacting with animals and animality in their writings, and relate it to Walter Benjamin’s thinking on human language. Following my discussion of Levi and Cixous, Benjamin’s writing on language is instructive in considering the possibilities and limits to hear the (what seems to be) unheard and its importance to the potentiality of creating conditions for a greater inclusivity in our daily lives.

Animal Names for Hebrew Bible Female Prophets

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

This article explores the literary and ideological dimensions of zoomorphic names for Deborah (bee) and Huldah (weasel)—two of the Hebrew Bible female prophets. The two women stand out among the female protagonists of the Hebrew Bible in three ways: they are the only female prophets endowed with textual legacy, they are remarkably successful in roles usually reserved for men, and they are the only women named after unclean animals. In this article, I argue that biblical authors use animal names to enhance the characterisation of the two women and to foreshadow the outcome of their narratives. Perceived as a bee, Deborah emerges as a triumphant weapon of war launched against the enemies of her people. Perceived as a weasel, Huldah appears as masterful in finding ways to solve intricate situations. At the same time, the use of names of unclean animals works to undermine the achievements and capacity of the two women, thereby consolidating the divide between male and female roles. Zoomorphic names of unclean animals suggest that although imaginable, and sometimes indispensable, female leadership is essentially extraordinary and must be viewed with suspicion.

‘One Friendly Flood’: Richard Crashaw’s Community of Strangers

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:00:00 GMT

This article concerns two of Richard Crashaw’s oddities: the prevalence of women religious and the over-saturation of fluids. These facets of Crashaw’s verse have captivated scholars and already induced interesting work. While scholars tend to emphasise Crashaw’s religious and fluid content (often in terms of its lyrical excess and its role in religious ecstasy, which is cast as the solitary fancy of the poet), this article analyses Crashaw’s content in light of his ‘fluid form’ in order to complicate an underlying assumption in Crashaw scholarship, namely, that ecstatic states are primarily solitary, typified by the subject’s excessive overcoming of self. The task of recasting Crashavian ecstasy will lend added texture to a reconceptualisation of Crashaw’s association with foreignness and its operation in promoting a paradoxical Christian communion.

Ambivalent Loves: Christian Theologies, Queer Theologies

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

The paired lines of investigation in this article trace, first, the challenges entailed by Christian-inflected queer theology’s primary methodological commitment to antinormativity. An examination of the consequences of antinormativity in queer theology prompts a search for other reading practices in fields like literary studies and queer theory. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Robyn Wiegman, and Rita Felski guide discussions of paranoid (or suspicious) and reparative (or postcritical) reading that provide a way to approach affective, political, and self-involving engagements with Christianity in queer theology beyond standard debates about the normativity of Christianity and its recuperative or destructive consequences.

The Astral H.D.: Occult and Religious Sources and Contexts for H.D.’s Poetry and Prose. By Matte Robinson

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT

The Astral H.D.: Occult and Religious Sources and Contexts for H.D.’s Poetry and Prose. By RobinsonMatte. London: Bloomsbury, 2016. xviii + 216pp. Hardback, $110.

Christian Goddess Spirituality: Enchanting Christianity. By Mary Ann Beavis

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Christian Goddess Spirituality: Enchanting Christianity. By BeavisMary Ann. New York and London: Routledge, 2016. x + 194pp. Hardback, $90. £90.

Not Eden: Spiritual Life Writing for This World. By Heather Walton

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Not Eden: Spiritual Life Writing for This World. By WaltonHeather. London: SCM Press, 2015. 141 pp. Paperback, £16.99