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This chapter turns to flesh’s appearance in European philosophy in the mid-twentieth century, foregrounding the figure of flesh in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s writings. His philosophy moves from discussions of incarnation to the body to flesh. For Merleau-Ponty, the incarnation implies an understanding of the self as an embodied relation to the world. In his later philosophical work, he employs the image of flesh to name that which ties bodies and the world. Merleau-Ponty acknowledges the Christian echoes of his metaphors, which can be read as reinterpretations of the “carnal” strand of Christian imaginaries. However, he conceives flesh not as a relation between divinity and humanity but as the intertwining of bodies and the “flesh of the world.”

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