Embodying place: An ecotheological reading of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

The blackened landscape of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006) suggests the possibility of a future restoration of the earth through the survival of the nameless boy, who is variously figured as a fire-carrier and more specifically, as the Word of God, a chalice holder, a tabernacle. McCarthy’s privil...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Christianity & literature
Main Author: Russell, Richard Rankin 1972-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: [2016]
In:Christianity & literature
Year: 2016, Volume: 65, Issue: 3, Pages: 343-363
Further subjects:B Gerard Manley Hopkins
B Cormac McCarthy
B Environmentalism Religious aspects Christianity
B ROAD, The (Book : McCarthy)
B Christianity
B Ecotheology
B Deep Incarnation
B Environmental protection Religious aspects
B MCCARTHY, Cormac, 1933-
B Word of God (Christian theology)
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Summary:The blackened landscape of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006) suggests the possibility of a future restoration of the earth through the survival of the nameless boy, who is variously figured as a fire-carrier and more specifically, as the Word of God, a chalice holder, a tabernacle. McCarthy’s privileging of the bodies of the boy and father suggests how the body is the basis for our encounters with the dynamism of place. The sacrificial love of the father for the son exemplifies embodied, emplaced love and is finally Christ-like in its manner and tone. This relationship and the relationship of father and son to the earth, which can be thought of figuratively as God’s body, can be best understood through “deep incarnation,” a dramatic understanding of God’s sacramental presence and action in the world in which human beings build communities and reconsider their place in nature. Moreover, reading the novel through Gerard Manley Hopkins’s sonnet “God’s Grandeur” allows us to see how The Road might suggest both the earth’s capacity to regenerate itself and its potential supernatural restoration. The present ecotheological reading of The Road is the first to unite McCarthy’s intertwined environmental and Christian emphases.
ISSN:2056-5666
Contains:Enthalten in: Christianity & literature
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1177/0148333115616898