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Toward a Theology of ErosTransfiguring Passion at the Limits of Discipline$
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Virginia Burrus and Catherine Keller

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226351

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226351.001.0001

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New Creations: Eros, Beauty, and the Passion for Transformation

New Creations: Eros, Beauty, and the Passion for Transformation

(p.271) New Creations: Eros, Beauty, and the Passion for Transformation
Toward a Theology of Eros

Grace Jantzen

Fordham University Press

The Genesis story in the Hebrew Bible, with its account of a beautiful garden forfeited by a descent into sin and violence, is often taken as the paradigmatic narrative of creation for Christianity. This chapter explores three theoretical accounts of violence that have been offered in relation to religion, with specific reference to the question of how that violence could be transformed. What is the relationship between creativity and violence? How does newness enter the world, the newness that is needed if there is to be transformation of the violence of the present world order? This chapter discovers in biblical narratives of new creation a source for envisioning divine and human creativity as an erotic overflow arising from a “passion for transformation”, a position that explicitly resists current theoretical tendencies—for example, that of René Girard—to understand violence as inherent to creativity as well as desire. The chapter returns to a critical consideration of the ambivalent relation of eros to pain, suffering, and loss.

Keywords:   eros, beauty, passion, transformation, violence, creativity, desire, pain, suffering

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