Ghostly Encounters: Spirits, Memory, and the Holy Ghost


in Planetary Loves

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780823233250
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240487 | DOI:

Series: Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia

Ghostly Encounters: Spirits, Memory, and the Holy Ghost

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This chapter reimagines the Holy Ghost in its relation to memories of suppressed pasts as well as unrealized possibilities, inspired by Spivak's discussions of history, ancestors, and memory, in which she invokes the theologically provocative figure of the ghost. After a brief glance at contemporary theoretical debates about the need and viability of remembrance that characterize the cultural moment of the present exploration, the chapter turns to the Bible in search of the Holy Ghost. The Bible offers a diversity of images for the spirit(s)—some of them inspire prophetic boldness, while others are morally ambiguous, or even threatening. To focus on the relationships between the ghosts, memory, and the Holy Ghost, the chapter relies on the Gospel of John's depictions of an almost-dead Jesus in his close connection with the Holy Ghost. Tracing the unique appearances of this Ghost in John reveals the complexity and irreducible multiplicity of its origins and can help us perceive a multitude of other ghosts, ancient and current, whose appearance may teach us something about the future.

Keywords: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak; Holy Ghost; memories; Bible; Gospel of John

Chapter.  7504 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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