Unearthing consonances in Foucault's account of greco‐roman self‐writing and Christian technologies of the self
Heythrop Journal (forthcoming)
|Abstract||Foucault’s later writings continue his analyses of subject-formation but now with a view to foregrounding an active subject capable of self-transformation via ascetical and other self-imposed disciplinary practices. In my essay, I engage Foucault’s studies of ancient Greco-Roman and Christian technologies of the self with a two-fold purpose in view. First, I bring to the fore additional continuities either downplayed or overlooked by Foucault’s analysis between Greco-Roman transformative practices including self-writing, correspondence, and the hupomnēmata and Christian ascetical and epistolary practices. Second, I add exegetical support to recent arguments denying Foucault’s advocacy for the death of the subject per se. In fact, my analyses show that Foucault’s ethico-aesthetic turn and its corresponding concern with self-transformation and self-(re)constitution via ascetical practices presupposes a subject with rational and volitional capacities. Without these capacities, the art of living Foucault describes is not possible.|
|Keywords||technologies of the self death of the subject Christian confessional technologies Foucault and self-writing exomologēsis hupomnēmata|
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