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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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Little Bird in My Praying Hands:

Little Bird in My Praying Hands:

Rainer Maria Rilke and God’s Animal Body

(p.134) Little Bird in My Praying Hands

Beatrice Marovich

Fordham University Press

Beatrice Marovich's essay brings Jacques Derrida's animal philosophy into dialogue with Rainer Maria Rilke's animal theology as crafted in his Stories of God and Book of Hours. For Rilke, animals have a privileged relationship to a space-time he termed The Open and through it to the divine, while humans can neither perceive nor enter The Open. Marovich explores the oblique relationship between Rilke's Open and Derrida's divinanimality—another extra-human time-space co-inhabited by gods and animals. The creaturely God that emerges in The Open finds consummate expression as the fragile bird wriggling in the praying hands of a child, signifying to the child that God is real, even though God must disappear when the prayer is over.

Keywords:   Animality studies, Animal theology, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jacques Derrida

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