The abyss, force, chaos, eros, animality and even bestiality, are fundamental aspects of human beings that neither philosophy nor theology can safely ignore. To say "this is my body," whether in the context of the intimate erotic dialogue of a wedded couple, or of the gift of God in the eucharist, does not simply send us back to the subjective experience of "the flesh" or the "lived experience of the body." It is a way of recognizing the otherness of another individual, understood as "organic" or even as "matter." Phenomenology, especially French phenomenology, has suffered from its triple emphasis on "flesh rather than body," "sense rather than non-sense," and "passivity rather than activity." We need to go behind Husserl and Heidegger, returning to Spinoza or Nietzsche, to explain what corporality really is. The Wedding Feast of the Lamb, following on from The Metamorphosis of Finitude (Fordham, 2012), represents a turning point in the thought of the author. Emmanuel Falque, one of the new generation of French phenomenologists, here links together philosophy and theology in an original fashion, and we see in this book the full effect of the "backlash" of theology on philosophy. The question of the incarnation and the eucharist lead to the development of a new concept of "body" and of "love." Avoiding the common mistake of "angelism" (consciousness without body), Falque goes back to the depths of our humanity considered also as animality (body without consciousness). He shows that the question in St. John's Gospel, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" (John 6:52), is one that we still need to pose, not least in philosophical terms. We need to question today and "in a way that responds to the needs of our time (Vatican II) the meaning of "this is my body." It is a cultural problem as well as one of religious belief. "Hoc est corpus meum" has shaped all our culture as well as our modernity.
The Wedding Feast of the Lamb by Emmanuel Falque was published by Fordham University Press in September 2016. The ISBN for The Wedding Feast of the Lamb is 9780823270408.