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Spiritual GrammarGenre and the Saintly Subject in Islam and Christianity$
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F. Dominic Longo

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823275724

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823275724.001.0001

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Introduction: Genre Trouble

Introduction: Genre Trouble

Queering Grammar for Spiritual Purposes

(p.1) Introduction: Genre Trouble
Spiritual Grammar

F. Dominic Longo

Fordham University Press

The question at the heart of this inquiry regards the theological significance of the queer literary genre of Qushayrī’s Grammar of Hearts and Gerson’s Moralized Grammar. While other writings intermix the spiritual and the grammatical or the religious and the linguistic, the genre of “spiritual grammar” is based on the metaphor of the self embedded in the grammatical structures of spiritual reality. Through their distinctive mélange of grammatical and religious genres, these two texts blatantly violate what Derrida calls “the law of genre.” The non-invisibility of their genre makes their stage unmissable, their performance unmistakable, and calls into question the genres of theology and the genders of Christian and Muslim believers—frames of knowledge and being that are commonly transparent and invisible. The space created by the genre of “spiritual grammar” is a place for the reader to become a certain kind of person, in a certain kind of world.

Keywords:   Butler, Judith, Derrida, Jacques, Jauss, Hans-Robert, literary genre – queer, gender theory – queer, queer theology, religious grammar, spiritual grammar

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