Saints and the Heterological Historian

Peter Ochs

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

Saints and the Heterological Historian

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This chapter explores “the chain of identities” that link author, reader, teacher, and student in Wyschogrod's work as a “saintly pedagogy” for imagining the proximity of One to the Other. The fact that Wyschogrod says precious little about how one learns from the heterological historian or how one becomes saintly reflects a careful consideration of the way influence must be conducted. Indeed, the chapter's reading of Wyschogrod is motivated by the discomfort felt by the reader of An Ethics of Remembering — the discomfort of being lead into a significant insight that cannot be harnessed. Considering together Saints and Postmodernism and An Ethics of Remembering, it locates a veiled “double-codedness” inhering in the act of reading Wyschogrod's work that becomes a training or practice that is transformative for the reader. Learning to be the heterological historian involves participation in a long chain of teacher-sages whose influence Wyschogrod's work conducts yet simultaneously interrupts in a performative attending to the other's voice. The production of multiple relational identities that generates a plurivocity in Wyschogrod's work is the engine of influence.

Keywords: Edith Wyschogrod; identities; influence; saintly pedagogy; An Ethics of Remembering; historian

Chapter.  8514 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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