DOI link for TRANSCORPOREALITY
In Michigan, a man named David wanted his union of twelve years with Jon blessed by a representative of God before he died. David lay on the couch while Jim, a gay Presbyterian minister who also has AIDS, moved his hands to the silent sounds of peace. He spoke nourishing words of blessing on these two lives bound by God’s grace: ‘Those whom God hath joined together, let no one put asunder. … ’ And then, as the minister began to celebrate the Communion for those who were present, he spoke the familiar words: ‘This is my body, broken for you … ’ and that was the point at which David died. ‘Do this in remembrance of me’ (Brantley: 1996, 217). These are not my words. They belong to another voice, an American voice; the voice of a Christian journalist himself dying of AIDS. I ventriloquise his voice, because I want to begin by outlining a Christian construal of the body with respect to the brokenness of bodies in postmodernity. The brokenness of these bodies is a continuation of the logic (and, ironically, humanism) of modernity. Postmodernity does not transcend but deepen, and bring to a certain terminus, the hidden agendas of modernity (Toulmin: 1990). And so the corpses and carnage of Ypres and the genocides of Belsen, are repeated, variously, at Pol Pot and Bosnia. The bodies, modern and postmodern, are concrete and also symptomatic. Where culture can be understood as a language, as an open field of shifting symbols, these pilings up of the dead are metaphors of cultural disintegration.