Chapter

Derrida and Dante

Francis J. Ambrosio

in Styles of Piety

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225002
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237081 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823225002.003.0014

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Derrida and Dante

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This chapter is yet another defense of Caputo's interpretation of Derrida as deconstructing religion not in order to arrive at nihilism, but rather to redefine the style and purpose of religious experience. It is posited that Caputo's interpretation is not only correct, but actually a necessary conclusion. Moreover, the chapter attempts to add to the genealogy of Derrida's proposed religiosity by connecting his philosophy with that found in Dante's Commedia—via the philosophy of Augustine. It turns out that both Derrida and Dante have seven commonalities to their piety: devotion to the impossible promises of those writings that move them, even when those promises are broken; the pursuit of divine love; confessing misdeeds to matronly figures, and thereby “converting” to a new frame of mind; finding hope through writing; shedding tears of repentance; finding forgiveness through writing; and joy in divine epiphanies.

Keywords: Derrida; Caputo; Augustine; Dante; piety; confession; religiosity; Commedia; forgiveness; Jewish

Chapter.  13887 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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