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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 Apophatic Animal:

The Apophatic Animal:

Toward a Negative Zootheological Imago Dei

Chapter:
(p.88) The Apophatic Animal
Source:
Divinanimality
Author(s):

Jacob J. Erickson

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823263196.003.0006

Jacob J. Erickson's essay picks up Jacques Derrida's passing reference in The Animal That Therefore I Am to “a negative zootheology” and elaborates it. At issue, for Erickson, is the traditional theological insistence on treating human beings as the privileged revelation of the divine (“created in the image of God”). Erickson contests this human exceptionalism by proposing a negative zootheology that does not cordon off nonhuman animality in order to image the divine. He follows Derrida in refusing to think “the animal” in undifferentiated terms, leading to a wild profusion of creaturely singularities that enable a radical reimagining of the biblical and theological trope of “wilderness.” The Spirit becomes a wild immanence in creaturely life, while God becomes a creaturely imaging of the “divine wilderness” of the Spirit.

Keywords:   Animality studies, Jacques Derrida, Imago dei, Wilderness, Pneumatology

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