This paper examines the ways in which the attribution of human characteristics and physical form to God, particularly in the form of Christ, produces a gendered, raced, ableist, and sexed imagery that provides ideals and norms for actually existing bodies. I will suggest that one possible way to address this problem, one that goes beyond simply multiplying images of the divine, is to de-image or de-form the divine. This is not simply to refuse images but to think through the withdrawal of the divine from any stable representation, that is, any representation that attempts to depict unchanging ideals of human form. Such a withdrawal could, perhaps, be indirectly imaged in and through bodies slipping out of form, or, into abstraction. The divine, here, would not be the possibility of the ideal body but rather of the apophatic body, the body set in motion beyond any normalizing capture.


E319 Forgan Smith 1