Waiting for the Messiah

Aktivitet: Tale eller præsentation - typerForedrag og mundtlige bidrag

Inge Birgitte Siegumfeldt - Foredragsholder


Watchful insomnia can be a nerve-wracking business especially if there is a question to be, if not resloved, then at least confronted. One of the questions which haunted Jacques Derrida concerned ‘religion' -but a highly idiosyncratic type of religion to which one adheres only by way of dissociation. It involves faith in the arrival of a strangely spectral other: stripped of all eschatological and dogmatic content, Derrida's notion of ‘messianicity' is strictly dissociated from Messianism and refers exclusively to the promise of something to come. It heralds arrival, but arrival of something that is not known, and which is not knowable as such: an indeterminability to come in a future that is itself unknown. This does not mean that the promise is ‘nothing', a non-event. It means that it is a performative: it allows or incites a scene of expectation directed exclusively towards the indeterminable, thus detached from all fixed epistemologies or systems of faith.


We are all familiar with the line from "Faith and Knowledge": ‘Religion circulated in the world, one might say, like an English word that has been to Rome and taken a detour to the United States'. And it was indeed the American climate of heterogeneity and pluralism which nourished Derridean thought on this matter; Derrida, in turn, was particularly well-equipped to enter the discussion on the ethical and political implications of religious cultures in America since he positioned himself in the very paradox of affiliation and dissociation he ascribes to the descendants of Abraham: Christian America seeking to reign in its unruly brothers, Judaism, the theological other, and Islam, the political other.
13 jun. 2009

Begivenhed (Konference)

TitelDerrida and America
EmneDerrida and America

ID: 13666060