Pasolini: The Sacred Flesh

Pasolini: The Sacred Flesh

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Stefania Benini
Toronto Italian Studies
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2015
World Rights
352 Pages
ISBN 9781442648067
Published Sep 2015
Online discount: 25%
 $65.00    $48.75
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442669888
Published Sep 2015
Online discount: 25%
Full purchase $65.00

Poet, novelist, dramatist, polemicist, and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini continues to be one of the most influential intellectuals of post-war Italy. In Pasolini: The Sacred Flesh, Stefania Benini examines his corporeal vision of the sacred, focusing on his immanent interpretation of the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation and the “sacred flesh” of Christ in both Passion and Death as the subproletarian flesh of the outcast at the margins of capitalism.

By investigating the many crucifixions within Pasolini’s poems, novels, films, cinematic scripts and treatments, as well as his subversive hagiographies of criminal or crazed saints, Benini illuminates the radical politics embedded within Pasolini’s adoption of Christian themes. Drawing on the work of theorists such as Ernesto De Martino, Mircea Eliade, Jean-Luc Nancy, Alain Badiou, Giorgio Agamben, and Slavoj Žižek, she shows how Pasolini’s meditation on the disappearance of the sacred in our times and its return as a haunting revenant, a threatening disruption of capitalist society, foreshadows current debates on the status of the sacred in our postmodern world.

Stefania Benini is the 2014–15 Lauro De Bosis Fellow in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University.


1. The Sense of the Sacred

2. The Passion and the Incarnation: Ricotta and The Gospel According to Matthew

3. The Words of the Flesh: Blasphemy

4. The Mad Saint and the Anchorite: Theorem

5. The Franciscan Model

6. The Pauline Model


“A welcome addition to Pasolini scholarship, film studies, and theology, Benini’s book may well be the ultimate scholarly work on the sacred in Pasolini’s work.”

Maurizio Viano, Department of Cinema and Media Studies, Wellesley College

‘This is a thorough study of the true intellectual Pasolini.’

‘Benini’s book is a tour de force to be lauded and a must read for any Pasolini scholar.’

Daniela Bini, Annali D’Italianistica vol 35:2016

‘Benini succeeds in carving out an innovative space for interpretation, so that her work is an interesting addition to the huge bulk of Pasolini criticism. Furthermore, her work can benefit those who are interested in ‘‘meeting’’ the ‘‘organic intellectual’’ Pasolini, an agent of Italian cultural history for over fifty years.’

Carla Locatelli, Forum Italicum vol 5:01:2017

‘Benini’s book is a tour de force to be lauded and a must read for any Pasolini scholar.’

Daniela Bini, Annali D’Italianistica vol 35:2016