Divine Enticement: Theological Seductions

Divine Enticement: Theological Seductions

Divine Enticement: Theological Seductions

Divine Enticement: Theological Seductions

Excerpt

Like a child in its first questions or a lover intoxicated with sharing, the
writer grappling with the book does not ask who he is, but whose.

—Edmond Jabès, El, or The Last Book

Theology seduced me. I wanted to resist being drawn into its constant uncertainty and intellectual discomfort, but was enticed by its history of gorgeous writing (whether poetically extravagant or mathematically precise) and by the willingness of theological thinkers to take up thought at the limits of thinking, to say at the limits of language, to experience at the limits of the subject. My response has been to try to theorize that seduction—not as a defense, but as a response, as every seduction requires. Theology reaches for our limits, and it opens in our midst, not least in the middle of our saying. “I am interested in language because it wounds or seduces me,” says Roland Barthes, and in theological texts we find the very language of wounding (and a rare source of its celebration) and of infinite seduction. This particular seduction begins in the calling of a name, and continues into ways of reading that name—the . . .

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