The Trace of God: Derrida and Religion

The Trace of God: Derrida and Religion

The Trace of God: Derrida and Religion

The Trace of God: Derrida and Religion

Synopsis

Derrida's writings on the question of religion have played a crucial role in the transformation of scholarly debate across the globe. The Trace of God provides a compact introduction to this debate. It considers Derrida's fraught relationship to Judaism and his Jewish identity, broaches the question of Derrida's relation to the Western Christian tradition, and examines both the points of contact and the silences in Derrida's treatment of Islam.

Excerpt

For over a quarter of a century, scholars have been interested in a set of questions broadly grouped under the heading “Derrida and Religion.” Since the 1980s, when Derrida began to apply deconstructive insights directly to questions of faith and religion, the provocation of this engagement has remained of major concern across the humanities. For this reason, it would be wrong to consider the question of Derrida and religion simply as a partial look at an important thinker, similar to, say, Hegel and aesthetics or Hume and politics, where research is limited to the overlap between the two: the conjunction in the phrase “Derrida and Religion” is not the compound limitation of the Boolean and. Rather, as we shall see over the course of the volume, one of the merits of studying Derrida’s engagement with religion is that it brings to the fore several central debates over the meaning of his work, as well as offering new insights into political and theoretical issues that extend well beyond the boundaries inside which religious questions are often confined.

The greater share of the papers assembled in this volume were first presented, albeit in abbreviated form, at a conference on Derrida and religion that convened at Harvard University in March 2010. the passage of time provided us opportunities to invite other scholars to contribute, and the fruits of our editorial labor are now assembled here in published form. the richness of the topic demands a number of perspectives. For this reason in this volume we bring together established voices in the field—like John Caputo, Hent de Vries, and Richard Kearney—along with younger . . .

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