After Writing provides a significant contribution to the growing genre of works which offers a challenge to modern and postmodern accounts of Christianity. Catherine Pickstock shows how Platonic philosophy did not assume a primacy of metaphysical presence, as had previously been thought, but a primacy of liturgical theory and practice. The author also provides a significant rethinking of Christian understandings of language, temporal and bodily life, and notions of the presence of God by discussing the Christian understandings of the liturgical practice, especially in the Medieval and pre-Enlightenment era. Through a detailed reading of Plato's Phaedrus, the medieval Roman Rite, and a discussion of the theology of the Eucharist, the book indicates directions for the restoration of the liturgical order. This book will be required reading for all systematic and philosophical theologians and their students, besides being of great interest to liturgists, historians and linguists. The ideas presented in the book are both significant in themselves and of great use at a teaching level.
Catherine Pickstock is a Research Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
Part I: The Polity of Death: 1. Socrates Goes Outside the City: Writing and Exteriority. 2. Spatialization: The Middle of Modernity. 3. Signs of Death. Transition: "Can My Eating Slake Your Hunger": The Evacuation of Liturgy. Part II: The Sacred Polis: 4. I Will Go Unto the Altar of God: The Impossible Liturgy. 5. Seraphic Voices: The Space of Doxology. 6. The Resurrection of the Sign. Conclusion. Index.