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DivinanimalityAnimal Theory, Creaturely Theology$
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Stephen Moore

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823263196

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823263196.001.0001

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The Microbes and Pneuma That Therefore I Am

The Microbes and Pneuma That Therefore I Am

Chapter:
(p.63) The Microbes and Pneuma That Therefore I Am
Source:
Divinanimality
Author(s):

Denise Kimber Buell

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823263196.003.0005

Denise Kimber Buell's essay asks what kind of creaturely theology might arise from reflection on microbial and bacterial interactions, such as in the human digestive system, rather than on the interactions of large-scale organisms. Buell argues that reflecting on invisible or near-invisible agencies, such as pneuma and microbes, has the potential to catalyze a creaturely theology that is also a relational ontology, one that conceives of all living beings as complex interacting systems. She finds theological models for such viscously porous ontologies in certain ancient Christian texts (the Gospels of John, Philip, and Thomas; Irenaeus's Against Heresies), notwithstanding the apparently contradictory fact that these texts also evince anxiety about the boundaries of the human.

Keywords:   Animality studies, Pneumatology, Microbes, Early Christianity

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