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TrialsOf Antigone and Jesus$
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William Robert

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823231652

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823231652.001.0001

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The Tragedy of Christianity

The Tragedy of Christianity

(p.88) 6 The Tragedy of Christianity

William Robert

Fordham University Press

At the heart of Christianity, in the flesh, stands tragedy. In Jean-Luc Nancy's words, “even in the very heart of Christianity, beginning with Christ's cry of abandonment, one can still find the trace—never quite effaced—of this pain”, a pain and suffering that “begin with existence and end with it, and this end gives pain and suffering to those who survive”. Here, “those who survive” seems to refer to those who mourn the death of an other: those who survive the death of a loved one, for example, experience the pain and suffering of living on without that loved one. However, in a posthumanous context, “those who survive” can refer to living as itself living on. Divinity's withdrawal is a tragic experience singularly and especially for Jesus, for whom this withdrawal becomes the death of divinity that he experiences—and that he survives.

Keywords:   Christianity, tragedy, Jean-Luc Nancy, pain, death, Jesus, divinity, living, mourning

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