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Miracle and MachineJacques Derrida and the Two Sources of Religion, Science, and the Media$
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Michael Naas

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823239979

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823239979.001.0001

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The Passion of Literature

The Passion of Literature

Genet in Laguna, Gide in Algiers

(p.243) 9 The Passion of Literature
Miracle and Machine

Michael Naas

Fordham University Press

This chapter looks at two important figures for Derrida, one of whom, Jean Genet, emerges right at the end of “Faith and Knowledge,” and the other, André Gide, who is not explicitly referred to in the essay but who must nonetheless be included in any account of Derrida on religion because of Derrida’s repeated claim that Gide’s Fruits of the Earth was—as he once put it—“the Bible of my adolescence.” Through a reading of Genet we see why Derrida draws attention in “Faith and Knowledge” to the striking absence not only of women at the Capri conference but of representatives of the Muslim faith, along with all those who have been displaced by today’s wars of religion, refugees of all sorts, and perhaps the Palestinians first and foremost. Through a reading of Gide the chapter asks not only about the origins of Derrida’s affirmation of life but whether or not—for how could this question be avoided in a book on religion?—Derrida believed in any kind of personal immortality or in any kind of an afterlife.

Keywords:   Jacques Derrida, Religion, Jean Genet, Palestinians, André Gide, Afterlife, Women, Sexual Difference

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