“Messianicity Without Messianism”: On the Place of Religion in the Philosophy of Jacques Derrida
This article examines Jacques Derrida’s concept of “messianicité sans messianisme” (“messianicity without messianism”) as an important example of rethinking the role and nature of religion in the late period of the work of the philosopher. Historical and philosophical analysis demonstrates that the appeal to the problem of messianism is inherent to many Jewish philosophers of the early twentieth century. They tried to develop a concept of time that would maintain full openness to the future and at the same time remember the past. Their work affected the interpretation of messianism in Derrida, because he developed his concept in discussion with Walter Benjamin and Emmanuel Lévinas. As the most general structure of the experience of justice, openness to the undecidable future, and respect for other messianicity do not exclude the religious manifestations of messianism, calling instead for the unceasing deconstruction of their fundamentalist claims.
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