Disfiguring Christianity

in Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
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Abstract

This essay reads Anidjar’s “critique of Christianity” to confront the history of Western rhetoric, in its separation of figure from referent. He reads blood as catachrestic—catachresis not as abuse of language but its actualization. From the perspective of the tropological system, one might track the different meanings of blood (metaphorical, metonymic, symbolic) of historical Christianity. But from the asymmetrical perspective of catachresis, blood maps out the divisive activity of Christianity, even in its institution of the propriety of figure. Blood thus does not deliver a revolutionary program somehow “against” Christianity so much as demonstrate its impropriety. In so doing Blood partakes of the temporality of besiegement expressed in the Darwish poem with which the essay opens, where the possibility of escape is neither relinquished nor celebrated but endured. A postscript takes up Anidjar’s reading of Moses and Monotheism in order to raise the question of Islam.

Disfiguring Christianity

in Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

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