Risky Words, Dissenting Bodies

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Particularity and the hallowing of crucified flesh. This is how Craig Keen speaks theologically of bodies, which is to say, how he speaks theologically. To introduce his theology is to draw attention to how he speaks of God by speaking of the particular, crucified body of Jesus bathed in God’s glory. “Glory,” for Keen, names the outgoing embrace of God in which flesh rendered unclean and vile, flesh lacking integrity, flesh to be expelled from the community, is made to be the site where God’s holiness and eschatological gathering of creation is enacted. This strange holiness does not require or enact the repair of the body. Holiness opens space for the hospitable embrace and welcome of the body in its disrepair. That the body in its disrepair is made to shine with the glory of God, and that the body in its disrepair can be set to work to welcome other dis-integrous bodies into the glory of God—this is for Keen the sum of the good news, the gospel. It is why his theology turns especially to the poor and hopes for and imagines the working of God’s glory among those crushed and forgotten by the “glory” of the world.
A - Philosophy, C - Systematic Theology
Janice McRandal. “Risky Words, Dissenting Bodies”. In Whistling in the Dark: on the theology of Craig Keen. Edited by Janice McRandal and Stephen John Wright. Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2024. 3-12.