By Gerard Loughlin
Gerard Loughlin is among the major theologians operating on the interface among faith and modern tradition. during this extraordinary paintings, he makes use of cinema and the movies it exhibits to contemplate the church and the visions of wish it monitors. It discusses quite a few motion pictures, together with "The Alien Quartet", Christopher Nolan's "Memento", Stanley Kubrick's "2001: an area Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange", Nicolas Roeg's "The guy Who Fell to Earth" and Derek Jarman's "The Garden". It attracts on a variety of authors, either historic and glossy, non secular and secular, from Plato to Levinas, from Karl Barth and Hans Urs von Balthasar to Andre Bazin and Leo Bersani. It makes use of cinema to contemplate the church as an ecclesiacinema, and flicks to contemplate sexual wish as erotic dispossession, as a manner into the lifetime of God. it truly is written from a extensively orthodox Christian viewpoint, without delay either Catholic and critical.
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Extra info for Alien Sex: The Body and Desire in Cinema and Theology
The erotic embrace, the sexual relationship, is ‘neither a struggle, nor a fusion, nor a knowledge . . ’11 The erotic is the lure and embrace of the truly alien, the flesh that is other. Needless to say, Levinas’s feminization of alterity, his understanding of the ‘feminine’ as ‘the of itself other, as the origin of the very concept of alterity’,12 has given rise to much criticism, most famously, and caustically, by Simone de Beauvoir in Le Deuxième Sexe (1949). I suppose that Levinas does not forget that woman, too, is aware of her own consciousness, or ego.
Like Leonard we have our own body texts – which include Leonard’s body – and around which we have ordered a series of images. Our reading may be more wanton than John Cassian would have approved, ASC01 09/10/2003 03:37 PM Page 23 Desiring Bodies 23 but it is no less focused on the body’s grace than is the monk’s desire for the visio Dei. Texts and images form a pictura that, as at Wearmouth, will lead us to ‘look on the gracious face of Christ and his saints, although in an image’, and to recollect ‘more feelingly the grace of the Lord’s incarnation’, the embodiment of the divine Eros.
There is no going outside of yourself, no meeting with another, but only more of yourself: an engorged solipsism. 19 Those who seek for their complement – always heterosexual (androgynous) in the prevailing Christian rendition, but also homosexual (male and female) in the original Platonic joke – seek for that which they can grasp and hold, but which they can never really receive as different from themselves, as the appearing of the Other in flesh. They can never caress the alien. One should not suppose that each embrace, each and every coupling, opens onto alterity, onto the mystery that withdraws even as one seeks to encircle, hold and possess the other.