Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

This work grew out a series of three lectures delivered at the Collegium Phaenomenologicum in Citta` di Castello, Italy, during the summer of 2008. Invited by my friend and former colleague at DePaul University Paul Davies, now at the University of Sussex, to speak on the subject ‘‘Belief...

Abbreviations of Works by Jacques Derrida

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pp. xi-xxiv

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

In February 1994, Jacques Derrida participated in a small conference on the island of Capri devoted to the question of the nature and role of religion in the world today. Derrida’s essay ‘‘Faith and Knowledge: The Two Sources of ‘Religion’ at the Limits of Reason Alone,’’ first published in...

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Prologue: Miracle and Mass Destruction (Underworld I)

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pp. 13-18

Because there is—as I believe—no proper place to begin reading Derrida on religion or anything else, because all one can do is prepare, calculate, strategize, and then give it a shot, I would like to begin with a religious tale that is rather far away from Derrida’s interests, idiom, and culture, an...

PART I The Island and the Starry Skies Above

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pp. 19-20

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1 Context Event Signature

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pp. 21-38

If ‘‘Faith and Knowledge’’ is Derrida’s most direct and ambitious attempt to answer the question of the nature of religion in general and its relationship with science and the media, it is hardly the first text in which Derrida treats themes and topics related directly to religion or religious discourse....

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2 Duplicity, Definition, Deracination

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pp. 39-64

All of the conditions we have looked at thus far form the context for Derrida’s choice of theme and for his treatment of it in ‘‘Faith and Knowledge.’’ These conditions must be constantly borne in mind as we see how Derrida on this day, in this place, with this background, for this audience,...

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3 Three Theses on the Two Sources and Their One Common Element

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pp. 65-100

In the previous two chapters I have tried to describe and analyze the various conditions of the essay ‘‘Faith and Knowledge’’ and of the Capri conference where a first version of the essay was presented. We saw how Derrida approaches the question of religion today by means of the essential...

PART II The Religion(s) of the World

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pp. 101-102

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Interlude I

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pp. 103-106

As we have seen, Derrida demonstrates throughout ‘‘Faith and Knowledge’’ the irreducible relationship between religion and science, that is, between the miracle and the machine. I would like to begin this second part of...

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4 La religion soufflée The Genesis of ‘‘Faith and Knowledge’

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pp. 107-124

As I argued in the Introduction, one must always try to understand how the form, style, and even the format of Derrida’s texts reflect the theses within them. ‘‘Faith and Knowledge’’ would be a truly exemplary text in this regard. The three theses developed in the previous chapter concerning...

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5 The Telegenic Voice The Religion of the Media

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pp. 125-151

As we have seen in previous chapters, religion must always—and especially today—be thought in relationship to the machine, to science and technology, and, particularly, to the teletechnology that has overtaken our world and transformed our very understanding of the world. Even when...

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6 ‘‘Jewgreek is greekjew’’ Messianicity—Khōra—Democracy

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pp. 152-196

In Chapter 3 we claimed that Derrida identifies two sources of religion, one of which is the common source of both religion and science, namely, a kind of originary or elementary faith, the ‘‘barest foundation’’ of every social bond. This reading of ‘‘Faith and Knowledge’’ is justified by just...

PART III Underworlds and Afterlives

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pp. 197-198

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Interlude II Cyberspace and the Unconscious (Underworld III)

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pp. 199-201

I suggested at the outset of Part II that Don DeLillo’s Underworld is a great contemporary novel about the relationship between waste, weapons, and faith, the environmental crisis, the weapons industry, and religion. This network of associations or connections is sometimes explicit, conscious...

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7 Mary and the Marionettes Life, Sacrifice, and the Sexual Thing

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pp. 202-226

As we saw back in Chapter 3, when we were developing the three principal theses of ‘‘Faith and Knowledge,’’ religion attempts to indemnify the first of its two sources by appropriating in an autoimmune fashion the powers of technoscience. While it has done this from time immemorial,...

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8 Pomegranate Seeds and Scattered Ashes From n 1 to the One n

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pp. 227-242

Though the name Persephone is never pronounced in ‘‘Faith and Knowledge,’’ her story might nonetheless be heard, or her figure seen, lurking in the background of the essay, from the various references to rape and sexual assault to, perhaps, Jensen’s story of Gradiva, where we read of ‘‘a...

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9 The Passion of Literature Genet in Laguna, Gide in Algiers

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pp. 243-276

Derrida thus ends ‘‘Faith and Knowledge’’ with a reference to the ‘‘dispersion of ashes’’ and to ‘‘death given.’’ He concludes with what sounds like a testimony or a testament or, better, a signature that would come to punctuate, endorse, or sign a text that is now complete. As noted earlier,...

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Epilogue Miracle and Mass Delusion (Underworld IV)

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pp. 277-284

As we have seen, Derrida’s ‘‘Faith and Knowledge’’ ends and then ends again. The first twenty-six sections, presumably presented by Derrida at the conference in Capri, seem to have called for a long post-scriptum, and that post-scriptum, at the moment of the signature, seems to have called...

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Observations

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pp. 285-330

Derrida begins §36: ‘‘In the beginning, the title will have been my first aphorism. It condenses two traditional titles, entering into a contract with them. We are committed to deforming them, dragging them elsewhere while developing if not their negative or their unconscious, at least the...

Reference Matter

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pp. 331-332

Timeline of Selected Derrida Publications,Conferences, and Interviews: 1993–95

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pp. 333-336

Notes

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pp. 337-392

Index to Sections of ‘‘Faith and Knowledge’’

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pp. 393-394

Name and Subject Index

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pp. 395-408