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Christ's Case And John Donne, "Seeing Through His Wounds": The Stigma Of Martyrdom Transfigured

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Chapter Summary

Martyrdom and stigmatization are two motives interwoven in religious representation, related but opposed in a shared logic of manifestation, the one quite literally soaked in the experimentum crucis, the other mystically withdrawn but nevertheless involved in an expressism of what seems to amount to the same literal blood. One of the crucial questions raised by the proliferation of martyrdom is its religious and, more problematic, Christian character. Saint Francis was the first to receive stigmata in order to overcome, compensate and outdo the missing martyrdom. Literal imitation in martyrdom was spiritualized in stigmatization, whereby the rush to stigmatization during the centuries of Eliots complaint literalized what had come to the highest metaphorological bloom in John Donne.

Keywords: John Donne; Martyrdom; religious representation; stigmatization



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