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The Language of Love

13th February 2010

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sodometries Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love in all of its various forms and contexts. Over the past week, we’ve highlighted several Fordham titles that deal with the philosophic, spiritual, and cultural dimensions of love. Today, we focus on the sensual and physical aspects of love. 

 Sodometries  is the newest book by Jonathan Goldberg, forthcoming in March. Says The Journal of Human Sexuality: “Sodometries is a stunning book: The complexity of its intelligence and the beauty of its stylistic accomplishments take one’s breath away.” Goldberg’s last book, The Seed of Things: Theorizing Sexuality and Materiality in Renaissance Representations, examines literature through the lens of religion, philosophy, gender, and sexuality. 

Language, Eros, BeingKabbalistic Hermeneutics and Poetic Imagination by Elliot R. Wolfson is a landmark work in the study of Kabbalah, examining the structure of sexuality in several different religions, including Christian, Islamic, and Buddhist traditions. Though the book’s scope is enormous, its elucidation of Kabbalistic thought is to be commended. 

Forthcoming in April is Seducing Augustine: Bodies, Desires, Confessions, by Virginia Burrus, Mark D. Jordan, and Karmen MacKendrick.  The book is an interpretation of Augustine’s famous Confessions but the three authors each dig deeper to produce a book that is “profoundly committed to delight.” Each author’s reading of the text centers of four different sets of themes–secrecy and confession, asceticism and eroticism, constraint and freedom, and time and eternity. Rather than skirt around the issue of sexuality and desire, Seducing Augustine embraces Augustine’s sexuality both by what is said and unsaid. In the end, they offer not only a fresh interpretation of Augustine’s famous work but also a multivocal literary-philosophical meditation on the seductive elusiveness of desire, bodies, language, and God.

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