Chapter

THE POLITICS OF CHRIST'S CIRCUMCISION (AND THE MYSTERY OF ALL FLESH)

In this essay I wish to raise a question concerning the organisation of an enquiry, any enquiry. My enquiry here is into the body ofJesus Christ. Two different analyses are fundamental not only to the nature and findings of the enquiry, but to the constitution of the enquiry itself. The first set of analyses concerns the why which drives this enquiry; and the second set of analyses concerns the how, the way of proceeding with the enquiry. Although I must distinguish immediately with respect to this second set of analyses between methodological questions (why a certain type of or approach to the enquiry is undertaken) and those elements and relations which organise the space of the methodology — perhaps even lend significance to why this methodology is chosen rather than any other. The first set of analyses concerns desire, attraction, and the relation pertaining between the enquirer and the object of the enquiry; the second set of analyses concerns the assumed knowledges governing the enquiry itself.1 I will treat the first set of analyses cursorily at this point because I wish to return to it more fully having dealt with what is assumed in order for the enquiry to take place at all.

1 As Michel Foucault points out, 'The fundamental codes of a culture — those governing its language, its schemas of perception, its exchanges, its techniques, its values, the hierarchy of its practices — establish for every man, from the very first, the empirical orders with which he will be dealing and within which he will be at home': The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (London: Tavistock Publications, 1970), p. xx. My second set of analyses might be termed an archaeology of the 'fundamental codes of a culture'.

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