In Poetics of the Flesh Mayra Rivera offers poetic reflections on how we understand our carnal relationship to the world, at once spiritual, organic, and social. She connects conversations about corporeality in theology, political theory, and continental philosophy to show the relationship between the ways ancient Christian thinkers and modern Western philosophers conceive of the "body" and "flesh.” Her readings of the biblical writings of John and Paul as well as the work of Tertullian illustrate how Christian ideas of flesh influenced the works of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Michel Foucault, and inform her readings of Judith Butler, Franz Fanon, and others. Rivera also furthers developments in new materialism by exploring the intersections between bodies, material elements, social arrangements, and discourses through body and flesh. By painting a complex picture of bodies, and by developing an account of how the social materializes in flesh, Rivera provides a new way to understand gender and race.
MAYRA RIVERA RIVERA's work in religious studies engages key Christian themes in relation to current theories of gender, coloniality, ethnicity and race. She is affiliated with the Committee on Ethnicity Migration Rights; the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (Faculty of Arts and Sciences) and American Studies (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences).
Her most recent book, Poetics of the Flesh (2015), explores the connections between theological, philosophical, and political metaphors of body and flesh.
The Touch of Transcendence: A Postcolonial Theology of God (2007) explores the relationship between models of divine otherness and ideas about interhuman difference. She is also co-editor, with Stephen Moore, of Planetary Loves: Spivak, Postcoloniality, and Theology (2010) and, with Catherine Keller and Michael Nausner, of Postcolonial Theologies: Divinity and Empire (2004).