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Passionate Theology - Desire, Passion and Politics in the Theology of J B Metz - Part I

H. M. Hofmeyr

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 23, No 1 (2002), 92-110. doi: 10.4102/ve.v23i1.1207

Submitted: 07 August 2002
Published:  06 September 2002


The author argues that a theory of concupiscence (desire), the subject of much of Metz’s early work (during his “transcendental phase”) implicitly plays a decisive role in his Political Theology. The implied concept of concupiscence is explicated with the aid of the major categories of a theory of reification as developed by Lukács, Benjamin and Adorno. The main categories of Metz’s Political Theology (notably asceticism, theodicy, negative theology and praxis) are linked to the (implied) central concept of concupiscence, eventually described as the might of what is. As this might seems to be absolute, the problem of the praxis of the believer becomes acute. Metz calls for a theology that integrates into its concepts societal, historical and cultural contexts. His notion of praxis as privation is interpreted in terms of longing and resistance.

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H. M. Hofmeyr, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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