Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Death and Other PenaltiesPhilosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Geoffrey Adelsberg, Lisa Guenther, and Scott Zeman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823265299

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823265299.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

U.S. Racism and Derrida’s Theologico-Political Sovereignty

U.S. Racism and Derrida’s Theologico-Political Sovereignty

Chapter:
(p.83) U.S. Racism and Derrida’s Theologico-Political Sovereignty
Source:
Death and Other Penalties
Author(s):

Geoffrey Adelsberg

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823265299.003.0005

This chapter first aims to provide a working definition of the relation between religion, politics, and the death penalty. Second, it offers an interpretation of Derrida's methodology, asking: Why does Derrida focus his analysis on the rarefied realms of sovereignty and religion qua Western European sovereignty rather than on the particular histories of the death penalty in the countries where it is/was practiced? It argues that Derrida's methodological avoidance of the history of the death penalty is premised upon the thought that abolitionist movements are at their strongest when they conceive of the death penalty as central to the state rather than an instrument of its criminal law. It interprets Angela Y. Davis's account of the connection between slavery, the death penalty, and prisons as a critical supplement to Derrida's theologico-political analysis of the death penalty. It contends that the death penalty during slavery and the prisons that thrived in the wake of U.S. post-Emancipation Reconstruction reveals a continuing differential exposure of Black and Brown people to sovereign decision. The chapter concludes by suggesting that this differential exposure of Black and Brown people to sovereign decision is a structural feature of European sovereignty.

Keywords:   religion, politics, death penalty, Derrida, European sovereignty, Angela Y. Davis, slavery, abolitionist movements

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .