1st Edition

Anacarnation and Returning to the Lived Body with Richard Kearney

Edited By Brian Treanor, James L. Taylor Copyright 2023
    278 Pages
    by Routledge

    278 Pages
    by Routledge

    This edited collection responds to Richard Kearney’s recent work on touch, excarnation, and embodiment, as well as his broader work in carnal hermeneutics, which sets the stage for his return to and retrieval of the senses of the lived body.

    Here, fourteen scholars engage the breadth and depth of Kearney’s work to illuminate our experience of the body. The chapters collected within take up a wide variety of subjects, from nature and non-human animals to our experience of the sacred and the demonic, and from art’s account of touching to the political implications of various types of embodiment. Featuring also an inspired new reflection from Kearney himself, in which he lays out his vision for “anacarnation,” this volume is an important statement about the centrality of touch and embodiment in our experience, and a reminder that, despite the excarnating tendencies of contemporary life, the lived body remains a touchstone for wisdom in our increasingly complicated and fragile world.

    Written for scholars and students interested in touch, embodiment, phenomenology, and hermeneutics, this diverse and challenging collection contributes to a growing field of scholarship that recognizes and attempts to correct the excarnating trends in philosophy and in culture at large.

    Introduction: Re-touching Philosophy with Richard Kearney

    Brian Treanor and James L. Taylor

    Part I: Touching Nature

    1. Thinking Like a Jaguar: Carnal Hermeneutics, Touch, and the Limits of Language

    Brian Treanor

    2. Sensing the Call of Other Animals: Carnal Hermeneutics and the Ethico-Moral Imagination

    Melissa Fitzpatrick

    3. The Embodied Human Being in Touch with the World: Richard Kearney, and Hedwig Conrad-Martius in Conversation

    Christina M. Gschwandtner

    Part II: Touching the Sacred

    4. Carnal Sacrality: Phenomenology, the Sacred, and Material Bodies in Richard Kearney

    Neal DeRoo

    5. Deep Calls to Deep

    Daniel O'Dea Bradley

    6. Strangers, Gods, and Demons: Toward a Carnal Hermeneutics of the Demonic

    Brian Gregor

    Part III: Touching Imagination

    7. Earth Creatures: Anacarnation in an Excarnate Age

    M.E. Littlejohn

    8. Richard Kearney, Terrence Malick, and the Hidden Life of Sense

    Christopher Yates

    9. Kearney's Journey between Imagination or Touch—in Dialogue with Ricœur

    Eileen Brennan

    Part IV: Touching Flesh

    10. Anaskesis: Retrieving Flesh in an Age of Excarnation

    James L. Taylor

    11. Female Nakedness in Protest: Tactile Reading

    Sarit Larry

    12. Touch Thyself: Kearney's Anacarnational Return to Plato's Forgotten Wisdom

    Matthew Clemente

    13. No Longer a Spectator Only

    Tamsin Jones

    Part V: Finishing Touches

    14. Anacarnation: Recovering Embodied Life

    Richard Kearney


    Brian Treanor is Professor of Philosophy and Charles S. Casassa SJ Chair at Loyola Marymount University in California, USA.

    James L. Taylor is Professor of Philosophy and Peacemaking and Director of International Programs at the European Center for the Study of War and Peace.

    "In the course of years of writing on imagination, hospitality, and touch, Richard Kearney has shown, in ways both philosophical and poetic, what it is to meet the world in a spirit of open-handed generosity. In this beautiful collection, we see a group of thinkers meeting strangers and horses, gods and trees; they encounter the living and the dead in the written word and the moving image, on the seashore and in the digital classroom, in the history of philosophy and in life lived in the flesh, all in that open spirit that reaches for empathy without presuming understanding. Thinking across generations and in the midst of many orders of being, they show us all over again that the world is not just before our eyes but at our fingertips. If we are paying attention, the extraordinary shines through the ordinary. This is an exercise in thinking together. Be warned; you will find yourself thinking with these writers long after you have closed the book."

    Anne O'Byrne, Philosophy, Stony Brook University, USA

    "If too many philosophers have colluded with a civilization out of touch with the lives, the bodies, the earth that make it up—this collection manifests an enlivening transdisciplinary alternative. Inspired by Richard Kearney’s body of work—in its adventures in embodiment, its refusal of the culture of discarnation, its revelatory 'anacarnation' and its oh-so-needed ecology—this conversation brilliantly unfolds the flesh of a radically hospitable hermeneutics."

    Catherine Keller, George T. Cobb Professor of Constructive Theology, Drew University, The Theological School, USA