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Beyond the Ancient QuarrelLiterature, Philosophy, and J.M. Coetzee$
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Patrick Hayes and Jan Wilm

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805281

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805281.001.0001

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Health and Deviance, Irony and Incarnation

Health and Deviance, Irony and Incarnation

Embedding and Embodying Philosophy in Literature and Theology in The Childhood of Jesus

(p.17) 2 Health and Deviance, Irony and Incarnation
Beyond the Ancient Quarrel

Stephen Mulhall

Oxford University Press

Stephen Mulhall’s chapter explores the boundaries between literature, philosophy, and theology: specifically, the ways in which The Childhood of Jesus ironically recounts themes from Plato’s The Republic, Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, and the story of the Incarnation in the New Testament. He draws attention to the unsettling provocation offered by Coetzee’s text, and the uncertain direction of its many ironies. Refusing to recuperate the enigmatic and disorienting impact of this text into a format that is more easily digestible to normative reasoning, Mulhall’s chapter stands as a provocation in its own right: a mode of literary criticism that questions many of the usual protocols that define what counts as an interpretation.

Keywords:   Plato, The Republic, Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Incarnation, Jesus, literature, philosophy, theology

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