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Material SpiritReligion and Literature Intranscendent$
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Gregory C. Stallings, Manuel Asensi, and Carl Good

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823255405

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823255405.001.0001

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Eucharistic Imaginings in Proust and Woolf

Eucharistic Imaginings in Proust and Woolf

Chapter:
(p.11) Eucharistic Imaginings in Proust and Woolf
Source:
Material Spirit
Author(s):

Richard Kearney

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823255405.003.0002

This chapter presents a reading of the works of Marcel Proust and Virginia Woolf through the lens of anatheism—the return to the sacred after the disappearance of God. It suggests that these authors manage to eschew the received divisions between sacred and profane, religious and secular, transcendent and immanent, in favor of a retrieval of the sacramental in the sensible. What may be called the eucharistic imagination is no longer the exclusive preserve of high church liturgies but is generously extended to acts of quotidian experience where the infinite traverses the infinitesimal. Whether this mutual traversal of the sacred and secular in modernist fiction is a matter of sacramentalizing the secular or of secularizing the sacred is central to the discussion. The anatheist paradigm allows it to be both at once: religion as art and art as religion.

Keywords:   anatheism, sacred, eucharistic imagination, secular, modernist fiction, religion, art

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