The Offense of Excretion

The Offense of Excretion October 28, 2014

Ernest Becker wrote: “Excreting is the curse that threatens madness because it shows man in his abject finitude, his physicalness, the likely unreality of his hopes and dreams. But even more immediately, it represents man’s utter bafflement at the sheer non-sense of creation: to fashion the sublime miracle of the human face, the mysterium tremendum of radiant feminine beauty, the veritable goddess that beautiful women are; to bring this out of nothing, out of the void, and make it shine in noonday; to take such a miracle and put miracles again within it, deep in the mystery of the eyes that peer out – the eye that gave even the dry Darwin a chill: to do all this, and to combine it with an anus that shits! It is too much. Nature mocks us” (Denial of Death, 33-4).

It’s worse for orthodox Christians, because we confess faith in a God who became flesh, a God-man with an anus that shits.

Has Christian theology ever fully grappled this “scandal of anality” into submission?

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