“Jewgreek is Greekjew”

Michael Naas

in Miracle and Machine

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780823239979
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823240012 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy (FUP)

“Jewgreek is Greekjew”

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This chapter returns much more closely to “Faith and Knowledge” in order to explain two “‘historical’ names”—messianicity and khōra—for the opening or the promise that is one of the two sources of religion as well as science. The chapter asks why Derrida sees the need to supplement a Judeo-Christian notion of messianicity with a thinking of the Greek khōra from Plato’s Timaeus, a text he once called a “Bible avant la letter.” Finally, this chapter tries to explain a few of Derrida’s more elliptical comments in “Faith and Knowledge” on democracy and literature as the right to say everything in light of other texts from around the same time on these same subjects. Such themes are hardly extrinsic, it is argued, to the principal theses of Derrida’s essay since they require a rethinking of what Derrida believes to be the Judeo-Christian origins not only of the concept of religion but of literature, democracy, religious tolerance, even secularism.

Keywords: Jacques Derrida; Religion; Messianicity; Khora; Democracy; Religious Tolerance; Literature; Secularism

Chapter.  20405 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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