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Beyond the Doctrine of ManDecolonial Visions of the Human$
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Joseph Drexler-Dreis and Kristien Justaert

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823286898

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823286898.001.0001

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Enfleshing Love: A Decolonial Theological Reading of Beloved

Enfleshing Love: A Decolonial Theological Reading of Beloved

(p.91) Chapter 4 Enfleshing Love: A Decolonial Theological Reading of Beloved
Beyond the Doctrine of Man

M. Shawn Copeland

Fordham University Press

This chapter draws on Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved to unsettle meanings of freedom, love, and subjectivity. It uses a decolonial political theological perspective that pivots on two paradoxical aspects of Christianity: its entanglement with the colonial anthropological deformation that Sylvia Wynter refers to as “Man” and its commitment to justice as social transformation inspired by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. In reading Morrison’s novel, Copeland leaves the reader without a tidy conclusion that returns to an affirmation of Christian tradition. Prioritizing black existential pain that pervades Morrison’s work, this chapter offers the most sacred identity of the human person, which it argues is realized in enfleshing love, as a site for unsettling modern/colonial anthropological distortions.

Keywords:   Beloved, decolonial, freedom, love, Toni Morrison, political theology

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