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The Phenomenology of Prayer$
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Bruce Ellis Benson and Norman Wirzba

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780823224951

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823224951.001.0001

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The Saving or Sanitizing of Prayer

The Saving or Sanitizing of Prayer

The Problem of the Sans in Derrida's Account of Prayer

(p.185) 13 The Saving or Sanitizing of Prayer
The Phenomenology of Prayer

Mark Gedney

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines the move made by philosophers Jacques Derrida and John D. Caputo to reconfigure prayer as sans, in which prayer would be to pray without knowing where to direct the prayers. It questions whether such prayer is possible and whether it reinscribes the exclusivist logic that it seeks to avoid. This chapter argues that such a prayer appears to be presented as superior to that of traditions with a determinate messianism, and with this Derrida and Caputo failed to escape religious violence.

Keywords:   Jacques Derrida, John D. Caputo, prayer, exclusivist logic, religious violence, messianism

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