Fragmentation and Memory
Meditations onyChristian Doctrine
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: Fordham University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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It is a source of recurrent pleasure and occasional surprise to me that so many smart and interesting people are so willing to be engaged in my projects. They have made this book much better than it would have been without them—though even that is to make the doubtable assumption...
Introduction: On Having Forgotten
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Invariably, I have forgotten how to write.
This invariant fact, emerging early in every writing project, is, nevertheless, just as invariably a surprise. I always forget that I have always forgotten. Beginning to write anything, I realize that I have no idea how to do so—how to draw together (sculpturally or choreographically or...
1. The One and The Many
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As the introduction has already hinted, the effort to clarify conceptually the thematic commonality of this text proves exasperating, perhaps appropriately so. How can one say together, and in some kind of order, discussions of fragmentation and scatteredness in time? How...
2. The Sin of Origin
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Glossing what he calls the ‘‘strange and wondrous’’ Leibnizian theory of damnation, Gilles Deleuze writes in The Fold, ‘‘the damned, Judas or Beelzebub, does not pay retribution for a past action but for the hate of God that constitutes the present amplitude of his soul...
3. From Trauma to Revelation
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If we begin with the question of sin, whether original or derivative, an obvious consequent question is that of forgiveness. Forgiveness is an elusive notion; as the opening catechismic questions indicate, it appears sacramentally as reconciliation (formerly designated penance, itself an interesting terminological shift), and it is understood to obtain...
4. Poppies and Rosemary
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The commandment to love, referred to in this chapter’s catechismic query and response, is given in several New Testament gospels,1 largely repeating Leviticus 19:18 (‘‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself ’’). Yet love seems even less readily commanded than does forgiveness...
5. Dismembered Divinity
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In this chapter I want to talk about the relics of saints, about their paradoxical play between fragmentation and wholeness, vitality and mortality, sacrality and profanity, and about the kinds of memory at work in the display and understanding of these bodily bits, the kinds of temporality...
6. Eternal Flesh
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In this last question and answer we find, with typical catechismic succinctness, one of the most intriguingly odd of Christian notions: once we correct for the lingering gender bias, we are faced with the notion that human ‘‘immortality’’ is something somatic, or, to put it differently, that human corporeality is something immortal. Here we seem to find...
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Without our help, says Jabe`s, the work of writing is done and undone, carrying within itself elusive reminders of all of the books that could have opened out from any point of it. Without our help, but with our necessary participation, as we work, unwork, and...
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Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2008