Kairos and Carnival: Mikhail Bakhtin’s Rhetorical and Ethical Christian Vision
Religions. Mythology. Rationalism
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractThe 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.