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Words FailTheology, Poetry, and the Challenge of Representation$
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Colby Dickinson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823272839

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823272839.001.0001

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The Spiritual and Creative Failures of Representation, or On the Art of Writing

(p.75) Conclusion
Words Fail

Colby Dickinson

Fordham University Press

The conclusion is an alternate, and somewhat more original, account of the book’s aims—more “readable” in many ways and synthetic in its incorporation of others’ valuable insights. There would be no conclusion such as the one presented here without the “hard work” of the first three chapters. Its focal point is accordingly to be found in the development of a “material spirituality” lodged within the potentiality of the human being—something that is never severed from the possibility of encounter with an O/other, even if such an encounter continuously fails to be recorded in words—examined here through the concrete dynamics found in the practices of writing and publishing. Though the conclusion could certainly “stand alone” from the rest of the work, it achieves its “fuller” sense in light of what came before it, and, in this sense, points beyond the merely theoretical and toward that creative and spiritual dimension of human existence we have been pining for all along, which pushes the boundaries of both philosophy and theology more than just a little bit, and which may only be graspable through the failures of our representations.

Keywords:   art, creativity, failure, material, representation, spiritual, writing

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