Thinking at the Limits: Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion in Dialogue with Richard Kearney

By Manoussakis, John P. | Philosophy Today, Spring 2004 | Go to article overview

Thinking at the Limits: Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion in Dialogue with Richard Kearney


Manoussakis, John P., Philosophy Today


The double encounter presented here, with arguably two of the most representative thinkers of contemporary French thought, took place in the wake of Richard Kearney's publication of The God Who May be (Indi-ana University Press, 2001). Although only two years have lapsed since its publication, this volume has been the subject of numer-ous panels, symposia, and reviews (SPEP in Chicago, AAR in Toronto, ACPA in Cincinnati, The Irish Philosophical Society in Dublin, and the Canadian Association of Hermeneutics in Halifax, to name only few). There is one point, however, that finds all its readers and commentators unanimous: The God Who May be bears eloquent witness to philosophy's much-discussed "turn to reli-gion." This "turn" assumed unforeseeable implications the day America, and with her the entire world, experienced the horror of what we now call "the events of 9/11." In the two dialogues which follow there is much talk about the "unbearable" Event that blinds us, "saturated" as it is with information; about the "ground zero" of revelation, the desolate place of khora-unnamable, im-possible and singular-questions that problematize the authority and authenticity of one's claim to divine Truth and Will. All these might ring in a strange and uncanny way to the reader who will notice that the dates of the dialogues recorded here fall within a month after September 11.

On September 11 what we call today "the return of religion" became dramatically visi-ble in all its complexity. The event itself as-sumed religious dimensions in its sublimity as a mysterium tremendum et fascinans. …

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