Drawing—the Single Trait: Toward a Politics of Singularity

Samuel Weber

in Crediting God

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233199
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823233212 | DOI:
Drawing—the               Single Trait: Toward a Politics of Singularity

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This chapter elaborates on the Derridean attempt to go beyond Schmittian political theology and sovereignty, which is referred to as “a politics of singularity.” In Derrida's later writings, in fact, sovereignty is seen as a feature of the self in its radical autonomy; to move beyond sovereignty it is necessary to bring out the nonsovereign dimension of the self, its radical openness to alterity, which Derrida designates by the term of singularity. The chapter returns to the Schmittian topos that connects God's creation ex nihilo with the Hobbesian sovereign establishing a state out of the “nothingness” of the war of all against all. The chapter offers an account of Genesis and its conception of a “monotheistic-individualistic interpretation of guilt,” which accounts for the fundamental continuity between Christianity and modernity that remains essential for Schmitt's idea of secularization. It is argued that the modern Hobbesian state secularizes the Christian belief in the resurrection, that is, the belief in the possibility that guilt and death may be surmounted by death, by providing salvation in the guise of universal security for the self.

Keywords: Derrida; Schmitt; political theology; sovereignty; secularization; Christianity; Hobbes

Chapter.  13252 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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