Against Autoimmune Self-Sacrifice: Religiosity, Messianicity, and Violence in Derrida’s “Faith and Knowledge” and in Classical Rabbinic Judaism


Type
Article
Change log
Authors
Weiss, Daniel H 
Abstract

In this essay, I argue that a comparison of Derrida’s “Faith and Knowledge” to the texts and thought of classical rabbinic Judaism can illuminate new conceptual connections among the different elements of Derrida’s thought. Both Derrida and the rabbinic texts can be viewed as affirming a type of “holding back” and “allowing the other to be,” stances which Derrida links to “religiosity” and to “messianicity beyond all messianism.” Moreover, the rabbinic texts appear to avoid the “autoimmune” reaction that Derrida sees as stemming from many sacrificial and self-sacrificial logics in which the self is problematically sacrificed in order to preserve the “unscathed” other. In addition, the rabbinic texts’ stance concerning divine authorization for war and capital punishment help to illuminate Derrida’s claim that the ostensibly “secular” wars of modern states are in fact better understood as “wars of religion.”

Description
Keywords
5005 Theology, 50 Philosophy and Religious Studies, 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Journal Title
Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
2544-302X
2544-302X
Volume Title
5
Publisher
University of Warsaw