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Resisting HistoryReligious Transcendence and the Invention of the Unconscious$
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Rhodri Hayward

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074141

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074141.001.0001

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The invention of the unconscious

The invention of the unconscious

(p.31) 2 The invention of the unconscious
Resisting History

Rhodri Hayward

Manchester University Press

This chapter explores the tension between different ways of knowing the past and the conflicting understandings of selfhood entailed in them. It is a conflict, which is sustained by different conceptualisations of death. These different conceptualisations determined both the form of the historical object and the imagined shape of the historian's insight. Christ emerged as a historical character in the Christologies of the nineteenth century through reference to his carnal limitation. His being and consciousness were portrayed as entities bounded in the kenosis by death. Similarly, the authority of the historical text was itself dependent on an implicit understanding of the limits of the historian's self. Within the new professional discipline of history, interpretations only became acceptable if they could demonstrate that the interpreted object was somehow insulated from the infective or partisan concerns of the interpreter.

Keywords:   historical character, unconscious, conceptualisations, death, Christ, kenosis

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