Imaginal renaissance [electronic resource] : desire, corporeality, & rebirth in the work of Jacob Böhme
- Joshua Levi Ian Gentzke.
- Physical description
- 1 online resource.
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|3781 2016 G||In-library use|
- Gentzke, Joshua Levi Ian.
- Sheehan, Thomas, primary advisor.
- Bashir, Shahzad, 1968- advisor.
- Pentcheva, Bissera V. advisor.
- Stanford University. Department of Religious Studies.
- Böhme is an important figure who connects the histories of early modern religious dissidence to Continental philosophy and later countercultural movements, yet he remains understudied. Challenging prevalent views that Böhme's writings are exercises in irrationality or "primitive" religious speculation, I argue that his work provides the theory for a practice aimed at (a) relocating religious authority in the body and (b) fostering an experience of the world that rejects contemporaneous theological and scientific cosmologies in favor of an ontology of human/world co-constitution. I demonstrate that many of Böhme's concepts do not "make sense" when approached as theology, philosophy, or theory, because his texts are indexed to the body: they are meant to catalyze existential transformation rather than convey purely conceptual content. My dissertation attempts to rectify the tendency to "disembody" Böhme, by approaching him first and foremost as a praxis-oriented thinker. I analyze Böhme's work, not as an example of introspective mysticism or speculative philosophy, but as the framework for a praxis meant to be performed in real time: an "existential paradigm" that is simultaneously (a) a phenomenology of desire; (b) a theory, method, and practice of self and world creation; and (c) a creative action aimed at disrupting the social imaginary and influencing the larger body politic.
- Publication date
- Submitted to the Department of Religious Studies.
- Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2016.
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