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The Trace of GodDerrida and Religion$
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Edward Baring and Peter E. Gordon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823262090

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823262090.001.0001

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“Et Iterum de Deo”

“Et Iterum de Deo”

Jacques Derrida and the Tradition of Divine Names

Chapter:
(p.13) “Et Iterum de Deo”
Source:
The Trace of God
Author(s):

Hent de Vries

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823262090.003.0002

This chapter discusses the ways in which Jacques Derrida's writings have consistently taken up the theological and mystical tradition of divine names by insisting on the iterability of a certain mention and use of “God,” while inscribing indelible change in this repetition and its trace. This is one of the reasons why it is philologically and philosophically wrongheaded to describe Derrida's oeuvre either in terms of an atheism-humanism or as religion and theism. Taking a lead from his ripose to John Searle in Limited Inc, notably the reference to Descartes's second proof for the existence God, in the latter's Meditationes de prima philosophia, in the section whose title glosses et iterum de Deo, it is shown that Derrida adopts an idiom from theology whose directionality is also profoundly altered. What results is a simultaneous generalization and trivialization, intensification and exaggeration of the theological vocabulary, out of its vastes and deepest of archives.

Keywords:   Derrida, divine names, atheism, theism, iterability, trace, theology

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