Feetishism: The Scent of a Latin American Body Theology

Marcella MarÍa Althaus-Reid

in Toward a Theology of Eros

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780823226351
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236718 | DOI:

Series: Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia

Feetishism: The Scent of a Latin American Body Theology

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This chapter explores Latin American “feetishism”—centered around theological readings of the work of Brazilian poet Glauco Matosso— and considers how the erotic traverses and transfigures, queers and subverts, differences framed in terms of colonialism and nationality, class and race, as well as sexuality and gender. What is unique in Mattoso's 1986 book The Loving Feetishist Handbook: Adventures and Readings from a Guy Crazy for Feet is the presence of theology as pornology. Using an erotic language, Mattoso's work has the ability to represent the deconstruction and confrontation of power by a street liturgy of multiple humiliations. What Mattoso did so successfully was to produce a democratic fetishist event, which participated in dialogic elements and dramatized issues of power, pleasure, and work. Fetishism is a form of art that gathers together the commonplace and the transcendent experience in a unique way. Feetishism takes away the conception that there is a natural spirituality before systematic theological dressing fixes in it some identity and sexuality or before the body is articulated, becoming territorialized by dressing codes.

Keywords: Glauco Matosso; feetishism; sexuality; gender; theology; pornology; power; fetishism; body

Chapter.  7332 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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