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Apophatic BodiesNegative Theology, Incarnation, and Relationality$
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Chris Boesel and Catherine Keller

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823230815

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823230815.001.0001

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Bodies without Wholes: Apophatic Excess and Fragmentation in Augustine's City of God*

Bodies without Wholes: Apophatic Excess and Fragmentation in Augustine's City of God*

Chapter:
(p.79) Bodies without Wholes: Apophatic Excess and Fragmentation in Augustine's City of God*
Source:
Apophatic Bodies
Author(s):

Virginia Burrus

Karmen Mackendrick

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823230815.003.0005

In Saint Augustine's texts, bodies consistently evade wholeness, produce excess, affirm, and negate—and approach a God who likewise does all of these things. City of God describes several modes of what we might call corporeal excess—and in so doing, not only tends to textual versions but also pushes into the conceptual excess of paradox. His is a queer apophasis, then—an apophasis of confession, not least. In confession, there is always more to say—and to unsay. One never gets to the bottom of it all, for no utterance is ever quite right. The self eludes language as surely as God does. The fragmentation, the break not only between intention and expression but also between human and divine in the fallen world, produces excess, not merely by adding on lies to the truth, but by keeping us talking (perhaps fictively) toward a God our words can never reach: there is always more to say.

Keywords:   Saint Augustine, bodies, wholeness, God, City of God, apophasis, excess, fragmentation, corporeal excess

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