“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.

Author Biography

Roman Soloviy, Dragomanova National Pedagogical University, Kyiv, Ukraine

Roman Soloviy, Doctor of Science (Philosophy), Professor of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the Dragomanova National Pedagogical University (Kyiv, Ukraine), the Director of the Eastern European Institute of Theology. His research interests cover the directions of the continental philosophy of religion, postmodern theology, methodology of theological research.


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How to Cite
Soloviy, R. (2020). “Messianicity Without Messianism”: On the Place of Religion in the Philosophy of Jacques Derrida. Changing Societies & Personalities, 4(2), 158–171. doi:10.15826/csp.2020.4.2.095