Exploring Bodily and Spatial Rhetoric in the De Opificio Dei of Lactantius

in Religion and Theology
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In the construction of spatiality, “partitioning” (as Foucault would have it), or the formation of the “enclosure,” allows not only for the production of an object of knowledge, but prompted by the regulative procedures of a social order, also invests spaces with an almost inherent valorisation. The relations of power active in the production of demarcated space, not only allows for the disciplined production of knowledge within the boundaries of the enclosure, but it also enacts the principle of hierarchy, rendering some parts of more value than others, evoking reasons for boundaries, evaluating types of movement and mobility, thereby reproducing social order. How a version of an interior body was embedded within a rhetoric of spatiality in antiquity is the objective of this essay. The point of departure is not a pre-discursive interior body upon which a rhetoric of spatiality has been inscribed, but an already rhetorically constructed object of knowledge in interaction with a rhetoric of spatiality. Besides exploring the interaction of bodily and spatial rhetoric with reference to specific prominent issues in the Dei Opificio Dei of Lactantius, the question whether a version of Roman masculinity tropologically functions as proposal for the construction of social order is also posed.

Exploring Bodily and Spatial Rhetoric in the De Opificio Dei of Lactantius

in Religion and Theology

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References

3

MoxnesPutting Jesus in His Place13.

4

MoxnesPutting Jesus in His Place14.

5

Walter Jost“Philosophy and Literature – and Rhetoric: Adventures in Polytopia,” in A Companion to the Philosophy of Literatureeds. Gary Hagberg and Walter Jost; Blackwell Companions to Philosophy (Malden MA; Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell 2010) 38.

7

Jost“Philosophy and Literature” 40.

8

Jost“Philosophy and Literature” 41.

9

Kery Daly“Family Theory versus the Theories Families Live By,” Journal of Marriage and the Family 65 no. 4 (2003):771–784.

10

Daly“Family Theory” 775–778.

11

Daly“Family Theory” 778–779.

12

Daly“Family Theory” 779–781.

13

Daly“Family Theory” 772.

14

Daly“Family Theory” 773.

15

Daly“Family Theory” 774.

16

Daly“Family Theory” 777.

17

Daly“Family Theory” 772.

18

Daly“Family Theory” 775.

20

LincolnReligion Empire and Torture2.

21

LincolnReligion Empire and Torture20.

22

LincolnReligion Empire and Torture18–22.

23

LincolnReligion Empire and Torture22.

24

On this problem see Judith Butler“Foucault and the Paradox of Bodily Inscriptions,” The Journal of Philosophy 86 no. 11 (1989): 601–607; also Judith Butler Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York NY; London: Routledge 1999) 164–166.

28

Burke“What Are the Signs of What?” 361.

29

Burke“What Are the Signs of What?” 361.

34

BourdieuLogic of Practice67.

37

Robert M. OgilvieThe Library of Lactantius (Oxford: Clarendon Press1978) 1.

38

Hugh Elton“The Transformation of Government under Diocletian and Constantine,” in Companion to the Roman Empireed. David S. Potter (Malden MA; Oxford: Blackwell Publishing 2006) 194–197.

40

LactantiusOpif. 1.1 4.

41

LactantiusOpif. 4.19–21.

49

LactantiusOpif. 8.2 but see also 2.1.

50

LactantiusOpif. 2.2–5.

54

LactantiusOpif. 2.4.7.

55

LactantiusOpif. 2.4.5.

56

LactantiusOpif. 2.4.5 16.

57

LactantiusOpif. 2.4.16 19 20.

58

LactantiusOpif. 2.4.17 Firmitas vero ubi fuerit nec senectus locum potest habere nec mors. There can be no place old age or death where the rhetoric of firmitas is valid.

59

CicNat. 2.12.33–2.13.1 Rackham.

60

James I. Porter“Introduction” in Construction of the Classical Bodyed. James I. Porter (Ann Arbor MI: University of Michigan Press 2000) 11.

61

Judith Perkins“Animal Voices,” Religion and Theology 12 no. 3&4 (2005): 385–388 391–392.

63

LactantiusOpif. 19.10.

69

LactantiusOpif. 12.5; unlike Galen Lactantius does not provide the female body with testes although she is able to produce seed.

72

FlemmingMedicine and the Making of Roman Women309.

74

FlemmingMedicine and the Making of Roman Women328.

76

LactantiusOpif. 12.12.

77

LactantiusOpif. 12.12.

78

LactantiusOpif. 12.14.

79

Johnathan Walters“Invading the Roman Body: Manliness and Impenetrability in Roman Thought” in Roman Sexualitieseds. Judith P. Hallett and Marilyn B. Skinner (Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press 1997) 30.

80

Walters“Invading” 37.

81

Walters“Invading” 41.

82

Walters“Invading” 32.

83

Walters“Invading” 39.

84

See LactantiusOpif. 2.10–3.3; 4.1.

87

LactantiusOpif. 4.10 17.

88

LactantiusOpif. 4.18 21.

90

LactantiusOpif. 2.9; see also 2.6 although ratio is here used.

91

See Halvor Moxnes“Beaten Body of Christ,” Religion and Theology 21 no. 1&2 (2014):130–140 for the use of impregnability discourse with respect to the interior body but specifically how it could have functioned as resource for the powerless slave.

92

See in this regard Teun Tieleman“Head and Heart: The Pauline Corpus Considered against the Medical and Philosophical Background,” Religion and Theology 21 no. 1&2 (2014): 89–94.

94

See LactantiusOpif. 8.3: the right reason (recta ratio but here to be seen in terms of mens) upright stature (sublimis status) and countenance (vultus) testify to a proximity and mutuality with God; the mind is described as nearly divine (prope divina).

95

See LactantiusOpif. 16.9–10.

97

LactantiusOpif. 1.10; 5.6; 8.3–5; 16.6.

99

See LactantiusOpif. 1.7; 8.10–11 14 17.

100

LactanitiusOpif. 8.4.

101

See LactantiusOpif. 8.6 9–10.4.

102

LactantiusOpif. 8.12 for the argument of the Epicureans.

103

LactantiusOpif. 8.11.

104

LactantiusOpif. 8.10.

105

LactantiusOpif. 8.12 17 9.2; it is important to see how mens is replaced by animus thereby suggesting in the end the protection of the animus.

106

LactantiusOpif. 10.2.

108

LactantiusOpif. 10.5–6.

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