We are told modernity's end will destabilize familiar ways of knowing, doing, and being, but are these changes we should dread-or celebrate? Four significant events (and the iconic images that represent them) catalyze this question: the consecration of openly gay Episcopalian bishop Gene Robinson, the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, the politicization of the death of Terri Schiavo, and the disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina. Framed by an original appropriation of Michel Foucault, and drawing on resources in visual culture theory and the history of photography, Ellen T. Armour explores the anxieties, passions, and power dynamics bound up in the photographic representation and public reception of these events. Together, these phenomena expose modernity's benevolent and malevolent disruptions and reveal the systemic fractures and fissures that herald its end, for better and for worse.
In response to these signs and wonders, Armour lays the groundwork for a theology and philosophy of life better suited to our (post)modern moment: one that owns up to the vulnerabilities that modernity sought to disavow and better enables us to navigate the ethical issues we now confront.
Ellen T. Armour is the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Associate Professor of Theology at Vanderbilt Divinity School. She is the author of Deconstruction, Feminist Theology, and the Problem of Difference: Subverting the Race/Gender Divide and coeditor, with Susan St. Ville, of Bodily Citations: Judith Butler and Religion.
Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Man and His Others: A History of the Present 2. Photography and/as Bio-discipline: Photographic Askesis 3. Bio-discipline and Globalization: The Crisis in the Anglican Communion 4. Regarding the Photographs of Others: Abu Ghraib and/as Bio-Discipline 5. Bio-discipline and the Right to Life: Becoming Terri Schiavo 6. The Perfect Storm: Hurricane Katrina Conclusion Bibliography Index