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Religion, Emotion, SensationAffect Theories and Theologies$
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Karen Bray and Stephen D. Moore

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823285679

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823285679.001.0001

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Feeling Dead, Dead Feeling

Feeling Dead, Dead Feeling

(p.206) Feeling Dead, Dead Feeling
Religion, Emotion, Sensation

Amy Hollywood

Fordham University Press

What does it mean to read and write devoutly, religiously, mystically—even, or especially, if one’s reading or writing qualifies for none of these adverbs in any conventional sense? What, in particular, does it mean to read and write about death and dying in these affective registers? These are the questions that animate this essay, a deeply personal dialogue with selected literary authors that smudges the line between literature and criticism and is less a discourse on affect than an immersion in affect. The author of the essay approaches her chosen literary works—literature with which she has bonded—as both fragmentary inscriptions of the divine and articulations of complex affects that exceed individual subjectivity. Difficult literature, for this author—reading it, writing it—is valuable training for the intractable difficulty of death.

Keywords:   affective theology, Robert Frost, Susan Howe, Henry James, religion and literature

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