More on Incarnation

More on Incarnation: Literally, incarnation means putting flesh on something, or giving a body to it. The doctrine of the incarnation is a central Christian belief, teaching that God took on human form, or flesh, and became man in Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 3:16). Donne's thinking is based on this. He sees that all spiritual matter needs to have a physical form before it can benefit humans, as in Aire and Angels, in which Angels need to take the element of air in order to manifest themselves. In The Extasie, he suggests that ecstatic love, the union of souls, is the spiritual essence of true love, but needs the body to be incarnated in, to take visible and material form. This is what sex is for. In this, Donne is the exact opposite of Plato, the Greek philosopher much admired by many in the seventeenth century. Plato's idea was that you could build up from physical, or carnal love, to spiritual love. So sex begins the process. Donne reverses this.

Scan and go

Scan on your mobile for direct link.