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Corporal KnowledgeEarly Christian Bodies$
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Jennifer Glancy

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195328158

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328158.001.0001

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What She Knew in Her Body: An Introduction

What She Knew in Her Body: An Introduction

(p.3) 1 What She Knew in Her Body: An Introduction
Corporal Knowledge

Jennifer A. Glancy (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Arguing that social location is a kind of knowledge borne in the body, chapter 1 demonstrates the significance of that insight for a cultural history of Christian origins. The chapter’s theoretical framework relies on the practice-oriented social theory of Pierre Bourdieu and the phenomenologically oriented approaches of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Linda Martín Alcoff. The inevitable cultural habituation of bodies—what is known as habitus—inclined Christians of the first centuries toward certain social arrangements rather than others and facilitated particular patterns of theological reflection. At the same time, what is known in the body exceeds social location; corporal knowing thus has an excessive quality, a claim explored at greater length in chapter 4. Central claims of chapter 1 are illustrated through a close reading of the story of the Syrophoenician woman in the Gospel of Mark.

Keywords:   Alcoff, Bourdieu, habituation, habitus, knowledge, Mark, Merleau-Ponty, Syrophoenician

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