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Divine EnticementTheological Seductions$
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Karmen Mackendrick

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242894

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242894.001.0001

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Introduction: From the Presence to the Sing

Introduction: From the Presence to the Sing

(p.1) Introduction: From the Presence to the Sing
Divine Enticement

Karmen Mackendrick

Fordham University Press

The introduction situates the idea of seductive theology in the history of apophasis and of the intersections of theology with semiotics. Through a sketch of relevant semiotic theory in late ancient, medieval, and contemporary thought, it argues that signs do not simply and finitely refer, but also entice. A world in which everything reads as divine sign (a common late ancient and Medieval conception) is one in which we are infinitely drawn toward the sacred. There is a brief discussion of the use of the term “seduction,” close to Baudrillard's sense that seduction is always about signs, but with greater emphasis on its infinite or uncloseable character. The enticement itself is sacred; we do not reach and rest in a divine entity. This claim is linked to the peculiar semiotic character of naming in the theological context, arguing for a divine name that calls or evokes more than it designates.

Keywords:   Apophasis, Semiotics, Seduction, Theology, Umberto Eco, Augustine, Valentinus, Jean Baudrillard, Roland Barthes

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