Ecce Homo: The Male-Body-in-Pain as Redemptive Figure

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9780226074702: Ecce Homo: The Male-Body-in-Pain as Redemptive Figure
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Images of suffering male bodies permeate Western culture, from Francis Bacon’s paintings and Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs to the battered heroes of action movies. Drawing on perspectives from a range of disciplines—including religious studies, gender and queer studies, psychoanalysis, art history, and film theory—Ecce Homo explores the complex, ambiguous meanings of the enduring figure of the male-body-in-pain.

Acknowledging that representations of men confronting violence and pain can reinforce ideas of manly tenacity, Kent L. Brintnall also argues that they reveal the vulnerability of men’s bodies and open them up to eroticization. Locating the roots of our cultural fascination with male pain in the crucifixion, he analyzes the way narratives of Christ’s death and resurrection both support and subvert cultural fantasies of masculine power and privilege. Through stimulating readings of works by Georges Bataille, Kaja Silverman, and more, Brintnall delineates the redemptive power of representations of male suffering and violence.

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Review:

"Imagine a book that treats religion and eroticism not as sworn enemies or cycling debaters but as twin arts. A book for which images of sexed bodies are not records or replacements so much as devices of an ecstatic redemption. You have found that book. In it, Kent Brintnall retells the Christian saga of male suffering through Hollywood action films, Mapplethorpe's most scandalous photographs, and the gurgling paintings of Francis Bacon." (Mark D. Jordan, Harvard University)"

About the Author:

Kent L. Brintnall is assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies and affiliate professor in the Women's and Gender Studies Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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