Keller: Intercarnations: Exercises in Theological Possibility

Keller: Intercarnations: Exercises in Theological Possibility

KELLER, Catherine

Intercarnations: Exercises in Theological Possibility

New York: Fordham University Press, 2017. 256 p.

ISBN: 978-0-8232-7646-2, $30.

Catherine Keller’s essays in this volume fracture Incarnation into intercarnational possibilities: the processual, and traditionally heretical, exchanges of emplacement – of divine and human – empower sacred/secular difference to be recast as implicit relational bonding. This move reconfigures the modes of thought about an otherwise doomed human experiment, and foregrounds material intercarnational presence as less than otherworldly redemptive rescue. Not only does it liberate theology from its “tomedness” – its weighty tomes and its Easter tomb; but it also shatters definitional closure and eschatological finality.  

The developments of Whitehead’s “process theology” engender a theological ingenuity and a finely tuned and probing set of inquiries that enable Keller to entangle (significantly, a way a defining “intercarnations”) the biblical John of Patmos with an apocalyptic Derrida through a dialogue with the New Testament scholar, Stephen D. Moore and others. Feminism surfaces through lenses slant, art is looked at as embodied challenge and confrontation (in Klimt’s Nuda Veritas), and language, crucially, resists kataphatic imperialism. To whom then does one turn when the “words of eternal life” have dispersed creedal doctrine, not merely into discussion and debate (which, quite probably, it always should be), but also into the mattering of matter, of being material beings in a world subject to its own creatureliness of ethical answerability? One may well turn to the interstices of these essays to prize open thoughts for consideration, discussion, and further entanglement at senior-year theology seminars.

Frank England, College of the Transfiguration, Grahamstown, South Africa

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