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Toward a Theology of ErosTransfiguring Passion at the Limits of Discipline$
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Virginia Burrus and Catherine Keller

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226351

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226351.001.0001

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Suffering Eros and Textual Incarnation: A Kristevan Reading of Kabbalistic Poetics

Suffering Eros and Textual Incarnation: A Kristevan Reading of Kabbalistic Poetics

Chapter:
(p.341) Suffering Eros and Textual Incarnation: A Kristevan Reading of Kabbalistic Poetics
Source:
Toward a Theology of Eros
Author(s):

Elliot R. Wolfson

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823226351.003.0018

The intertwining of language, eros, being, and time that may be elicited from Julia Kristeva's essay “Stabat Mater” complements a cluster of motifs that this chapter recovers in its excavation of the textual landscape of kabbalistic hermeneutics and poetic imagination. Utilizing a number of philosophical and theoretical perspectives, but most notably Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological ontology, this chapter characterizes the erotic play in traditional kabbalah in incarnational terms that, in a manner surprisingly similar to Kristeva, revolves about the encircling of flesh and word, the opening where word is embodied as flesh and flesh embodied as word. From the kabbalistic perspective we can say that language—the ordeal of discourse that is love—weaves its veil of words, metaphors of the invisible, to reveal the veil of the veiling. This chapter's Kristevan meditations on erotic suffering as a form of hermeneutical poetics in the kabbalistic tradition turns on readings of Song 8:6.

Keywords:   Julia Kristeva, eros, suffering, poetics, kabbalah, flesh, word, metaphors, being, language

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