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Joan’s Two Bodies: A Study in Political Anthropology

22 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2011  

Winnifred Fallers Sullivan

Indiana University Bloomington


From all of the evidence, Joan of Arc was a conventionally pious Catholic and a patriotic Frenchman. Yet she was tried as a heretic and executed as a traitor. She unnerved both her friends and her enemies in the church and the state with her zeal. And she continues to fascinate. Almost six centuries after she was burned at the stake, her body still has life. This essay uses Kantorowicz’s reading of the historical development of the legal fiction of the king’s two bodies to re-focus our attention on what Joan of Arc accomplished as a political actor.

Keywords: religion, political theology, church and state

Suggested Citation

Sullivan, Winnifred Fallers, Joan’s Two Bodies: A Study in Political Anthropology. Social Research, Forthcoming; Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-017. Available at SSRN:

Winnifred Fallers Sullivan (Contact Author)

Indiana University Bloomington ( email )

Bloomington, IN
United States

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