By Gerard Loughlin

Gerard Loughlin is likely one of the best theologians operating on the interface among faith and modern tradition. during this unheard of paintings, he makes use of cinema and the flicks it indicates to consider the church and the visions of hope it monitors. It discusses quite a few movies, together with "The Alien Quartet", Christopher Nolan's "Memento", Stanley Kubrick's "2001: an area Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange", Nicolas Roeg's "The guy Who Fell to Earth" and Derek Jarman's "The Garden". It attracts on a variety of authors, either old and sleek, non secular and secular, from Plato to Levinas, from Karl Barth and Hans Urs von Balthasar to Andre Bazin and Leo Bersani. It makes use of cinema to consider the church as an ecclesiacinema, and movies to consider sexual hope as erotic dispossession, as a fashion into the lifetime of God. it's written from a notably orthodox Christian point of view, immediately either Catholic and critical.

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Extra resources for Alien Sex: The Body and Desire in Cinema and Theology

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As with the monk who sought his identity in union with the body of Christ, so Leonard seeks in his own body for the identity he once had with his wife, whose absence from his bed is made present through repeated scenes of his awakening in motel beds or in the beds of others. And strangely, Leonard’s memory-work figures that of Alien Sex, which is to read the flesh for signs of that other body in which our desires find their source and fulfilment. Like Leonard we have our own body texts – which include Leonard’s body – and around which we have ordered a series of images.

His is an exterior memory, stored on his flesh and extended body. The medieval tradition also developed an exterior memory, a mnemonic extension of the mind. In some instances this was the decorated cell, on the walls of which were painted images that were to be used for meditation, as in the monastery of San Marco in Florence, painted by Fra Angelico (Giovanni da Fiesole) in the 1440s. The retreat of the monk to his cell recalls the Roman tradition of withdrawing into a small room or closet (exedra or cubiculum), an ‘invention chamber’,99 as Mary Carruthers calls it.

43 ASC01 09/10/2003 03:37 PM Page 12 12 Introduction For a modern sensibility, Rolle’s passionate treatise on the fire of divine love is intensely homoerotic, and the more so the more it denigrates the carnal and the sensual. For as with all this literature of divine lovemaking, Rolle must evoke the very thing he disparages in order to express a spiritual felicity that exceeds the embraces of interpenetrating bodies. The flesh he would shun provides the metaphoric body with which he embraces his heavenly lover.

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