Critical Theory and Early Christianity - Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, and Judith Butler - Matthew G. Whitlock

Critical Theory and Early Christianity - Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, and Judith Butler - Matthew G. Whitlock

6. The Deleuzioguattarian Body of Christ without Organs

Critical Theory and Early Christianity - Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, and Judith Butler - Matthew G. Whitlock

Bradley H. McLean [+-]
University of Toronto
Bradley H. McLean is Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at the Toronto School of Theology and is cross-appointed to the University of Toronto’s Department for the Study of Religion. He is the author of seven books, including Biblical Interpretation and Philosophical Hermeneutics (Cambridge University Press, 2012), as well as numerous articles on Deleuze and Guattari including ‘What Does A Thousand Plateaus Contribute to the Study of Early Christianity? (Deleuze and Guattari Studies, 14/3, 2020) and ‘Deleuze’s Interpretation of Job as a Heroic Figure in the History of Rationality’ (Religions 10/141, 2019). His latest volume, entitled The Rise of the Christ Machines: A Deleuze-Guattari Analysis of Early Christianity, is now in preparation.

Description

This article argues that each Pauline Christ group can be interpreted as a Deleuzoguattarian ‘body of Christ without organs,’ which is to say, as a self-organizing system, without reference to a transcendental plane (1 Cor 12:27, Rom 12:4-5). While this body of Christ did indeed possess organs (Christ followers), the connections between them and Christ, and between them and the ‘organs’ (or ‘desiring-machines’) of other bodies, were just as significant as the connections between the ‘organs’ themselves. Scholars can better understand the dynamics of the historical emergence of Christ groups by investigating what ‘desiring-machines’ the first Christ groups were plugged into, and what symptoms were produced in them by being plugged into other desiring-machines. Such an analysis requires an appreciation of the three stages of the emergence of a ‘body without organs’: namely, 1) connective synthesis, 2) disjunctive synthesis, and finally 3) a conjunctive synthesis. Taken together, these three passive syntheses, which form a body without organs, provide a functional analytic for theorizing the emergence of early Christianity in the first century CE.

Notify A Colleague

Citation

McLean, Bradley . 6. The Deleuzioguattarian Body of Christ without Organs. Critical Theory and Early Christianity - Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, and Judith Butler. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Nov 2022. ISBN 9781781794135. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=30150. Date accessed: 30 Sep 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30150. Nov 2022

Dublin Core Metadata