The Bio-Theo-Politics of birth

Chiesa, Lorenzo (2011) The Bio-Theo-Politics of birth. Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 16 (3). pp. 101-115. ISSN 0969-725X. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not available from this repository. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL


In this article I aim to show that, in their discussion of the possible biopolitical implications of the notion of birth, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Roberto Esposito share a similar vitalist notion of life. Both authors start off from the very same premise: before and outside of any symbolic (political and legal) constraining imposition on life, life is in itself a life as a unity of difference – a place of blind forces or a primordial intensity – that is as such sacredly blessed. On the one hand, Esposito’s analysis of birth as an affirmative biopolitical category can help us unveil the thanatopolitical implications of Pasolini’s critique of Italian legislation on abortion in so far as he resolutely condemns any discourse on the alleged degeneration of life. On the other, this very analysis is compromised by Esposito’s own Christian stance on life. In the final part of this paper, I argue that inasmuch as Esposito conceives birth as “the actual place in which a life makes itself two,” such a blessed One of difference presupposes a stance on the transcendent differentiality of life and legal obligation towards it that follows closely John Paul II’s encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Italian
Depositing User: Fiona Godfrey
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2012 13:21
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2014 10:37
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year