Journal Article

Derrida, Faith and St Paul

Deborah Madden and David Towsey

in Literature and Theology

Volume 16, issue 4, pages 396-409
Published in print December 2002 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online December 2002 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI:
Derrida, Faith and St Paul

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This paper sets St Paul's intricately paradoxical, Christian message to Jews and Greeks alongside Jacques Derrida's placement of Paul—and through Paul, himself—in the Western tradition, which occurs by means of the energy of faith. But rather than opposing Greeks to Jews, Hellenic philosophy to Biblical theology, that movement of faith places them all within the complex shifts of a common horizon, mapped out by the subtle modulations of Paul's rhetoric. Theology falls under the domain of philosophy, yet at the same time, Greek thought merges into a common, Gentile faith. Derrida may not finally be able to concur with the eschaton of Paul's faith, but both agree that, as philosophy's operation requires a space for unconditional belief, so faith also demands an heterogeneous commonality in order to affirm itself.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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