Chapter

The Passion of Literature

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823239979.003.0011

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy (FUP)

The Passion of Literature

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This chapter looks at two important figures for Derrida, one of whom, Jean Genet, emerges right at the end of “Faith and Knowledge,” and the other, André Gide, who is not explicitly referred to in the essay but who must nonetheless be included in any account of Derrida on religion because of Derrida’s repeated claim that Gide’s Fruits of the Earth was—as he once put it—“the Bible of my adolescence.” Through a reading of Genet we see why Derrida draws attention in “Faith and Knowledge” to the striking absence not only of women at the Capri conference but of representatives of the Muslim faith, along with all those who have been displaced by today’s wars of religion, refugees of all sorts, and perhaps the Palestinians first and foremost. Through a reading of Gide the chapter asks not only about the origins of Derrida’s affirmation of life but whether or not—for how could this question be avoided in a book on religion?—Derrida believed in any kind of personal immortality or in any kind of an afterlife.

Keywords: Jacques Derrida; Religion; Jean Genet; Palestinians; André Gide; Afterlife; Women; Sexual Difference

Chapter.  15619 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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