Thursday, December 08, 2005

Derrida on Jesus as Deconstruction

I just discovered a passage of a conversation with Jacques Derrida from 2001 which was recently published, and it both helps me a lot with my current project and points out that Derrida himself (among others) may be a step ahead of me.  Derrida, here, seems to affirm an open theist view and also points out the paradox and deconstruction inherent in Biblical Text and the person of Christ.  

“We usually identify God with the almighty, that is, with absolute power.  I’m trying now in seminars and in texts, by following a political thread, to deconstruct, so to speak, the onto-theological heritage of the political concept of sovereignty, without abandoning the unconditionality of gifts, of hospitality, and so on.  That means that some unconditionality might be associated, not with power, but with weakness, with powerlessness.  Now some would say this is still Christian.  There is in Jesus Christ some weakness, some vulnerability, some powerlessness, but there you see that the powerlessness, of course, is also a sign of the almighty.” (from a Roundtable Discussion with Derrida in Augustine and Postmodernism 2005.  page 41)

Perhaps Derrida doesn’t undermine biblical hermeneutics as much as I thought.  Perhaps he actually illuminates it.

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