The Care of the Self and Christian Practice: Foucauldian Readings of Breece D’J Pancake

Robert Le Blanc


This essay considers Michel Foucault’s understandings of Christian subjectivities and radical self-care by engaging in close readings of the fiction of American writer Breece D’J Pancake. Pancake’s characters seek subject positions that fall within the Christian tradition while also engaging actively within the diagrams of disciplinary power that they encounter. While many of these depictions indicate these characters’ inabilities to reconcile radical projects of self-fashioning with accessible forms of Christian practice, other characters’ experiences point to and enable new understandings of the radical modes of Christian subjectivity earlier theorized by Foucauldian ethicists such as James Bernauer.

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