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Religions 2018, 9(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9030079

Kairos and Carnival: Mikhail Bakhtin’s Rhetorical and Ethical Christian Vision

School of Languages, North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 12 March 2018
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Abstract

The term kairos has been used to mean, alternatively, right timing or proportion in Ancient Greek rhetoric, by Jesus to refer to the Christian eschaton and by Paul Tillich and modern liberation theologians to refer to the breakthrough of the divine into human history. Kairos, unlike chronos, is an intrinsically qualitative time and implies a consciousness of the present as well as the need for responsive action. This emphasis on action provides the link between kairos and virtue, the particular virtue in question being that of prudence (phronesis in Greek). The aim of this article is twofold: to highlight and make explicit the connections between the notion of kairos and the Russian literary-theorist and philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin’s rhetorical and ethical world, with particular emphasis on his notion of carnival; secondly, to further support a Christian reading of Bakthin’s work by making explicit the connections between his carnivalesque vision and a Christian reading of the ethical importance of kairos and its links with incarnation. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bakhtin; carnival; kairos; rhetoric; liberation theology; Paul Tillich; Albert Nolan; phronesis; prudence; virtue; incarnation; the grotesque Bakhtin; carnival; kairos; rhetoric; liberation theology; Paul Tillich; Albert Nolan; phronesis; prudence; virtue; incarnation; the grotesque
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Bekker, I. Kairos and Carnival: Mikhail Bakhtin’s Rhetorical and Ethical Christian Vision. Religions 2018, 9, 79.

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