Fascinating Flesh: Revealing the Catholic Foucault
AbstractThe Catholic dimension in Foucault’s examination of the Church Fathers is featured because neglect of it may misrepresent the very notions of virginity and of flesh in Confessions of the Flesh. Failure to appreciate the tension between a seditious flesh and an incarnational flesh implicitly confines the Patristic vision to the limited modern field of “sexuality.” The fourth volume might be best interpreted against the background of the investigations that prompted Foucault to immerse himself in religious texts and spiritual experiences: his early writings on literature; the later interest of his lectures in pastoral technologies; and his witnessing of the political-spiritual movements both in Islam (the Iranian revolution) and in Catholicism (the anti-military protests in South America and the anti-Communism denunciations of Pope John Paul II).
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