New Creations: Eros, Beauty, and the Passion for Transformation

Grace Jantzen

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

New Creations: Eros, Beauty, and the Passion for               Transformation

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The Genesis story in the Hebrew Bible, with its account of a beautiful garden forfeited by a descent into sin and violence, is often taken as the paradigmatic narrative of creation for Christianity. This chapter explores three theoretical accounts of violence that have been offered in relation to religion, with specific reference to the question of how that violence could be transformed. What is the relationship between creativity and violence? How does newness enter the world, the newness that is needed if there is to be transformation of the violence of the present world order? This chapter discovers in biblical narratives of new creation a source for envisioning divine and human creativity as an erotic overflow arising from a “passion for transformation”, a position that explicitly resists current theoretical tendencies—for example, that of René Girard—to understand violence as inherent to creativity as well as desire. The chapter returns to a critical consideration of the ambivalent relation of eros to pain, suffering, and loss.

Keywords: eros; beauty; passion; transformation; violence; creativity; desire; pain; suffering

Chapter.  6955 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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