Towards a kenotic identity politics: Migration, transformation and the eucharist


This paper will focus on one element of the pushback against the massive influx of immigrants taken in for humanitarian purposes, namely, an identity-based chauvinism which uses identity as the point of resistance to the perceived dilution of that identity, brought about by the transformation of culture induced by the incorporation of a foreign other. The solution to this perceived dilution is a simultaneous defence of that culture and a demand for a conformity to it. While those in the critical tradition have encouraged a counter-position of revolutionary transformation by the other through ethics, dialogue, or the multitude, such a transformation is arguably impeded by what is ultimately a repetition of the metaphysics of conformity. Drawing on the personalism of Emmanuel Mounier and the Eucharistic theology of Creston Davis and Aaron Riches, this paper submits an alternative identity politics position that completes the revolutionary impulse. Identity here is not the flashpoint of a self-serving conflict, but the launch-point of politics of self-emptying, whose hallmarks include, on the one hand, a never-ending reception of transformation by the other, and on the other hand, an anchoring in the Body of Christ that is at once ever-changing and never-changing.


Christ event, identity, overdetermination

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