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Compassion As An Interruption Of The Power Of Inscription. A Contribution To Diaconal Studies

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Chapter Summary

Compassion is a demanding and almost outdated theological word, still the author thinks that Hans-Günter Heimbrock would prefer to have the word in his theological vocabulary. Therefore, here is the author laudatio to a very compassionate and good colleague. The author's starting point is that even if the word compassion seems outdated the parable of the compassionate Samaritan is rather simply about taking responsibility for another person's body and discovering that the other person's body makes a claim on us. In current discussion of ethics and diaconal studies, this appears an imprecise and difficult assertion. The theme of the body is, however, at the centre of a number of central theoretical perspectives, from L?gstrup over Merleau-Ponty to Foucault and most recent feminist research. The assertion that compassion presents itself as physicalness should therefore be qualified. What does this mean? This chapter points at a possible solution based on Foucault.

Keywords: compassion; diaconal studies; Foucault; Hans-Günter Heimbrock; physicalness; theological word



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