Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




John D. Caputo


Christ, Deleuze, immanence, philosophy

Subject Categories



This dissertation is comprised of two sections: 1) "The Immanent Body in Late Antiquity": an analysis of late ancient christology, Stoicism and philosophy; 2) "The Extended Body: Aesthetics": depictions of monastic bodies in late medieval, Renaissance and contemporary art.

I. The thesis of this dissertation can be stated as follows: the conditions under which immanence is thinkable in relation to bodies are found in conceptual personae. Contemporary philosopher Gilles Deleuze's concept of conceptual personae, developed in conjunction with French theorist Felix Guattari, helps navigate the complex relationship between bodies and ontology developed by these three ancient thinkers. In order to understand the formation of the conceptual persona of Christ in late antiquity, it was necessary to return to the work of Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Athanasius.

II. The second part of the project begins with the Antony Series, which is a cluster of Renaissance works of art designated by a common theme. They represent St. Antony, who, being the first deep desert monastic, was the subject of my previous chapters. Therefore, the link between late antique conceptions of the monastic body and Renaissance art becomes explicit. Early Renaissance artists turned to an aesthetics of the monastic body in order to revolutionize painting, for it was during the late thirteenth century that expressive bodies were being created, bodies that would move painting towards the Renaissance. This dissertation analyzes the precise point of this transition through a christological (i.e., monastic) understanding of the painted figure.


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