Memory and Violence, or Genealogies of Remembering

Werner H. Kelber

in Saintly Influence

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230877
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235612 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Memory and Violence, or Genealogies of Remembering

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This chapter sketches an approach to Christian passion narratives that considers them as ethically ambiguous products of remembering. Extending the sense of history as irretrievable loss and future expectancy expressed in Wyschogrod's An Ethics of Remembering, it seeks to emulate her capacity for bringing widely differing genres into a productive tension, generating an understated novelty called a “prolonged hesitancy.” In this case, the chapter employs a Wyschogrodian sensibility to generate a reading of foundational texts caught in a “duplicitous mnemohistory.” It pries open a violent logic working in these foundational texts that memorializes in order to facilitate a pure remembering that nonetheless remains in the service of a certain present and future, even as it covers over the indeterminacy of the remembered past key to the logic itself.

Keywords: Edith Wyschogrod; Christian passion narratives; remembering; prolonged hesitancy; duplicitous mnemohistory

Chapter.  11568 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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