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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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Passion—Binding—Passion

Passion—Binding—Passion

Chapter:
(p.169) Passion—Binding—Passion
Source:
Toward a Theology of Eros
Author(s):

Yvonne Sherwood

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823226351.003.0009

The seductive enigma of the word “passion”—and the Christian passion to which it is tied—seems to lie in the way in which it allows the subject at its center to function as subject and object both at once. Anders Nygren wishes to keep separate the active human subject of desire that characterizes his eros type and the receptive or passive human subject of faith that characterizes his agape type. Yet it would seem that to be a subject at all is both to act and be subjected to constraint, in discursive and political contexts where agency is never absolute. This chapter demonstrates that the very structures of narrativity or (divine) emplotment, whether biblical or postbiblical, convey this predicament of subjectivity while also opening up possibilities for an erotic transformation of submission that limits omnipotence, whether human or divine. Behind the crucifixion of Christ looms the binding of Isaac, and in front of it proliferate innumerable inscriptions of mimetic self-sacrifice or self-emptying, where pain and pleasure, loss and gain, mournfulness and joy converge and mingle.

Keywords:   passion, Christ, binding, Anders Nygren, subjectivity, submission, omnipotence, pain, joy

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