Poetics of the Flesh
Embracing Flesh: Tertullian
This chapter illustrates the way in which the early Christian theologian Tertullian takes up, combines, and transforms Pauline and Johannine poetics to present an affirmative image of flesh. For Tertullian, flesh is a site of relation and exchange between human bodies and between human and nonhuman elements. Flesh carries the traces of its beginnings in another and is a mark both of mortality and of the hope for resurrection. Further, the importance of flesh in salvation makes flesh a crucial locus of spiritual discipline and reform for Tertullian—a notion that will have much significance for later theorizing about the flesh.