A Heraldic Ethic: Critical Resistance, Theopoetic Embodiment, and Dialogical Impulses

L. Callid Keefe-Perry


This article advocates for a hermeneutic and theological position I term “Heraldic,” a stance argued from some of John Howard Yoder's work which challenges worldviews that are impositionally singular, rigid, and totalizing. In this manner, the “Herald” is one who is impelled by a theopoetic impulse “to roughen up unified appearances.” This paper first condenses and re-articulates that position, reframing the stance against totalizing worldviews as a normative, constructive position for a particular quality of interaction when engaging with the expression of religious knowledge. It then moves to explore some of the ways this Heraldic quality of interaction intersects with ethical thought. Namely, (1) which ethical frameworks are useful in considering the implications of a Heraldic position, and (2) what those frameworks suggest the Heraldic position might be in regards to ethical considerations of intercession on behalf of an innocent other.

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