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Male ConfessionsIntimate Revelations and the Religious Imagination$
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Bjorn Krondorfer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804768993

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804768993.001.0001

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Non-absent Bodies and Moral Agency

Non-absent Bodies and Moral Agency

Confessions of an African Bishop and a Jewish Ghetto Policeman

Chapter:
(p.74) Chapter 3 Non-absent Bodies and Moral Agency
Source:
Male Confessions
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804768993.003.0003

Confessiography includes a narrative background about already-lived experiences against which the male confessant wishes to be judged and forgiven. Confessional texts come with an implicit moral expectation that a sympathetic reader would willingly accept. Given such implied morality, the confessant's subjectivity and moral agency come into focus. This chapter argues that the issue of moral agency is intricately linked to the representation of the male body and that moral agency is hidden by the non-absence (that is, textual disappearance) of the male body in male confessiographies. It examines the texts of two very different men, St. Augustine and Calel Perechodnik, and looks at common themes in their confessions. These themes range from choice and control to morality and faith, guilt and forgiveness, hope and despair, human failure and the (im)possibility of redemption, and their relationships to God and their loved ones including their parents, spouses, and children.

Keywords:   confessions, men, confessiography, moral agency, St. Augustine, Calel Perechodnik, redemption, God, male body, non-absence

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