Acts of Religion by Jacques Derrida

By Jacques Derrida

Acts of faith, compiled in shut organization with Jacques Derrida, brings jointly for the 1st time a couple of Derrida's writings on faith and questions of religion and their relation to philosophy and political tradition. The essays talk about non secular texts from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions, in addition to spiritual thinkers corresponding to Kant, Levinas, and Gershom Scholem, and contain items spanning Derrida's occupation. the gathering contains new essays by way of Derrida that seem the following for the 1st time in any language, in addition to a considerable advent through Gil Anidjar that explores Derrida's go back to his personal "religious" origins and his makes an attempt to convey to gentle hidden spiritual dimensions of the social, cultural, ancient, and political.

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N the irrepressible invoking of a witness, God would remain then one name of the wltnes�, he would be called as witness, thus named, even if sometimes the named of thIS name remains unpronounceable, indeterminable, in short: unnameable in his very name; and even if he ought to remain absent, non-existent, and above all, in every sense of the word, unproducible. God: the witness as "nameable-unnameable:' present-absent witness of every oath or of every possible pledge. As long as one sup­ poses, concesso non dato, that religion has the slightest relation t� w at we thus call God, it would pertain not only to the general history of nommatIOn, but, more strictly here, under its name of religio, to a history of the sacramentum and of the testimonium.

It is the decision of the other in the undecidable. " The mystical thus understood allies belief or credit, the fiduciary or the trustworthy, the secret (which here signifies "mystical") to foundation, to knowledge, we will later say also, to science as "doing," as theory, practice and theoretical practice­ which is to say, to a faith, to performativity and to technoscientific or tele-technological performance. Wherever this foundation founds in foundering, wherever it steals away under the ground of what it founds, at the very instant when, losing itself thus in the desert, it loses the very trace of itself and the memory of a secret, "religion" can only begin and begin again: quasi-automatically, mechanically, machine-like, sponta­ neously.

Y. 52 1 . ' comes from. . ThiS usage IS constant during the classical period. . In sum, religio is a hesitation that holds back, a scruple that prevents, and not a sentiment that guides an action or that incites one to practice a �ult. " Together with spondeo, we must consider re-spondeo. The proper meaning of respon­ deo and the relation with spondeo emerge literally from a dialogue of Plautus ( Captiui, 899). The parasite Ergasilus brings Hegion good news: his son, long disappeared, is about to return.

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