Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Profound influence of the Jewish tradition on Derrida

(title unknown) from Continental Philosophy by Farhang Erfani
Call for papers: Derrida Today
Special issue on: “Traces of Judaism in Derrida”

“For you have understood me well: when I say ‘the most jewish (la plus juive),’ I also mean ‘more than jewish (plus que juive).’ Others would perhaps say: ‘otherwise jewish (autrement juive),’ even ‘other than jewish (autre que juive).’”
- Jacques Derrida: Abraham, the Other

Faced with numerous references to themes from Jewish thought, Jewish thinkers, and biblical narratives throughout Derrida’s writings, one finds it impossible to disregard the profound influence of the Jewish tradition on his work. Although it is widely known that Derrida was born in Algeria into a Sephardic Jewish family and suffered from anti-Semitic violence during his childhood, there has yet been no satisfactory inquiry into the structural connections between this aspect of his autobiography and his philosophical work. Often pushed to the margins of the literature on Derrida, these topics need to be fully explored, elaborated and, if possible, made intelligible. This special issue of Derrida Today therefore welcomes papers that try to illuminate all aspects of Derrida’s thought from the perspective of its indebtedness to the Jewish tradition.

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