Early Christianity, Judaism, hagiography
Biblical Studies | Christianity | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
This essay explores representations of fleshly excess in Christian and Jewish texts of the late fourth and fifth centuries, from the cosmically-scaled figures of Adam and the resurrected Christ in Genesis Rabbah and Augustine's City of God, on the one hand, to the hagiographical portraits of fat rabbis and monks in the tractate Baba Metsia of the Babylonian Talmud and the Lausiac History of Palladius, on the other. The Platonic figure of the khora is initially invoked to frame two main arguments: first, that these late ancient texts discover transcendence within, rather than outside of, the boundlessness of materiality; and, second, that this incarnational tendency has intriguing implications for practices and theories of representation and imagination.
Burrus, Virginia, "Carnal Excess: Flesh at the Limits of Imagination" (2009). Religion. 97.