Tracing Sacrifice from Abraham to Derrida

Aktivitet: Tale eller præsentation - typerForedrag og mundtlige bidrag

Inge Birgitte Siegumfeldt - Foredragsholder


Tracing Sacrifice from Abraham to Derrida

For Abraham sacrifice was a necessary response to the call of god. It epitomizes a contract, signed, initially, in his own preputial blood, then in the ovine substitute for the ultimate offering of filial blood. And thus, through the gesture of ‘cutting', Abraham marked himself, his two sons and every male in his tribe, and ‘bound' them for all time to his divine alliance: an alliance which rests on the paradox in which belonging is determined by severance.

Today ‘sacrifice' may be read as one of the more allusive and elliptical pathways for the strategy of deconstruction: to bind words to their wounds, to communicate by the escarre. This is one of the legacies of the philosopher, Jacques Derrida: the translation of Abraham's circumcision into a figure for differentiation. But, in a manner beyond all doctrinal affiliation, sacrifice has also come to signify the universal scission by which discourses and alliances are contracted. Derrida is particularly well-equipped to enter the discussion on the ethical implications of these issues, since he positions himself in the very paradox of affiliation and dissociation he ascribes to the sacrificial relations of the sons of Abraham.

And so, across millenia, through Derrida we find Abraham, a weather-beaten nomad, with Isaac, Ishmael, Lot and Sarah, ‘laughing', in tow, wandering in from the dusty deserts of ancient Canaan to the lofty halls of postmodern academia, where the story of his sacrifices replays itself. It is a story of devotion to the other and to the word, now re-cycled in deconstructive aporiae.

21 aug. 2008

Begivenhed (Konference)

Titel  Sacrifice: 17th European Conference on Philosophy of Religion
EmneSacrifice:  Philosophy of Religion

ID: 13666065