Cover image for Ethics for Apocalyptic Times: Theapoetics, Autotheory, and Mennonite Literature By Daniel Shank Cruz

Ethics for Apocalyptic Times

Theapoetics, Autotheory, and Mennonite Literature

Daniel Shank Cruz

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$104.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-09564-6

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178 pages
6" × 9"
2024

Ethics for Apocalyptic Times

Theapoetics, Autotheory, and Mennonite Literature

Daniel Shank Cruz

Ethics for Apocalyptic Times is at once memoir, philosophy, literary criticism, theology, and poetry; it concocts a genre of its own through original concepts and methodologies.”

 

  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Bio
  • Table of Contents
  • Sample Chapters
  • Subjects
Ethics for Apocalyptic Times is about the role literature can play in helping readers cope with our present-day crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and the shift toward fascism in global politics. Using the lens of Mennonite literature and their own personal experience as a culturally Mennonite, queer, Latinx person, Daniel Shank Cruz investigates the age-old question of what literature’s role in society should be, and argues that when we read literature theapoetically, we can glean a relational ethic that teaches us how to act in our difficult times.

In this book, Cruz theorizes theapoetics—a feminist reading strategy that reveals the Divine via literature based on lived experiences—and extends the concept to show how it is queer, decolonial, and equally applicable to secular and religious discourse. Cruz’s analysis focuses on Mennonite literature—including Sofia Samatar’s short story collection Tender and Miriam Toew’s novel Women Talking—but also examines a non-Mennonite text, Samuel R. Delany’s novel The Mad Man, alongside practices of haiku and tarot, to show how reading theapoetically is transferable to other literary traditions.

Weaving together close reading and personal narrative, this pathbreaking book makes a significant and original contribution to the field of Mennonite literary studies. Cruz’s arguments will also be appreciated by literary scholars interested in queer theory and the role of literature in society.

Ethics for Apocalyptic Times is at once memoir, philosophy, literary criticism, theology, and poetry; it concocts a genre of its own through original concepts and methodologies.”
“Although Ethics for Apocalyptic Times intervenes in an established conversation, it is inherently boundary-pushing and will certainly make an iconoclastic yet constructive contribution. The diversity of voices that Cruz draws from in this book is unparalleled. No other scholar in the conversation is drawing from such a wide source base while also making creative, normative, and critical interventions that unsettle the basic assumptions that many in the field still hold.”

Daniel Shank Cruz (they/multitudes) is a queer, disabled boricua who grew up in New York City and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Multitudes is the author of Queering Mennonite Literature: Archives, Activism, and the Search for Community, also published by Penn State University Press. Cruz’s website is https://danielshankcruz.com/.

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Theapoetics and Apocalyptic Times

1. Sofia Samatar’s “Request for an Extension on the Clarity,” Queer Objects, and Theapoetics

2. Theapoetics in Mennonite Poetry, Then and Now

3. Conversing with the Other in Sara Stambaugh’s I Hear the Reaper’s Song

4. Secular Mennonite Ethics in Miriam Toews’s Summer of My Amazing Luck

5. The Theapoetic Ethics of Speculative Fiction

6. Samuel R. Delany’s Surrealist Anabaptist Ethics

Epilogue: Theapoetics and Other Traditions

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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