Involved Withdrawal: A Phenomenology of Fasting
A foray into the burgeoning fields of "liturgical philosophy" and phenomenology of religion, Involved Withdrawal is a new philosophical theology of spiritual disciplines aimed to challenge regnant paradigms in spirituality and develop the field of philosophy of religion by advancing its interest in and dialogue with other disciplines. This study focuses on fasting, providing an alternative reading of this practice from the standpoint of lived experience. Privileging the phenomenological approach and bodily apparatus of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, this account of fasting highlights the embodied, social, cultural, and societal impact of this practice. Putting Merleau-Ponty in conversation with John Cassian and his reading of spiritual disciplines, it teases out the public and social conditions and consequences of fasting. It argues that spiritual disciplines are formative practices that constitute meaning, identity, and agency, and, therefore, demand more attention in philosophy of religion. At issue are reductive, limited, disembodied readings of spiritual disciplines that see these disciplines as private, individual, and escapist. Also at issue are attendant understandings of philosophy of religion. This study contests these readings and understandings, and, in response, proposes that philosophy of religion see and take stock of the importance practices hold for human meaning, identity, and agency and the benefit such an awareness could have for the field. One last goal is to endorse the practice of spiritual disciplines by demonstrating their implicit wisdom and, consequently, necessity for faithful and obedient creaturely existence.
PHD in Theology
Fasting Religious aspects Christianity, Phenomenological theology
Missions and World Christianity
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