Foucault’s History of Sexuality 1 cannot be understood without sustained attention to its ironies, which are written into every level from diction to structure. The little book does not intend to deliver a theory, queer or otherwise. It means rather to display and then to frustrate the desire for theory—especially when it comes to sexuality.
To compose a Christian book on exemplary Christian living, Ambrose appropriates and criticizes Cicero's book on "duties," "De officiis." In many passages within the moral part of his "Summa of Theology," Thomas Aquinas incorporates quotations from both Cicero and Ambrose. Comparison of the three texts raises issues about the relation of genres to terms, arguments, rules, and ideals in religious teaching. Genre becomes a useful category for analyzing religious rhetoric only when it is conceived as a set of persuasive or (...) pedagogical relations below a text's surface disposition. (shrink)
Arguments that Aquinas’s literal commentaries on Aristotle present his own philosophy are often proxies for larger claims about the relation of philosophy to theology. While trying to secure a place for Thomas in philosophic conversation, such arguments impose modern notions of an autonomous and apodictic philosophy, with fixed genres of declarative speech. The result is neither a plausiblereading of the Thomistic corpus nor a helpful exemplar for contemporary Catholic philosophy.