Deconstruction and Zionism
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What Derrida calls “Abrahamic Messianism” refers to the specific experiences of revelation of prophetic figures like Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. Derrida argues that the “universal structure of the Messianic” must be distinguished from the historical experiences of revelation within these religious traditions. Derrida defines “Messianicity” as a fundamental aspect of the human experience: “As soon as you address the other,” he claims, “as soon as you are open to the future,… [to] waiting for someone to come: that is the opening of experience” (Deconstruction in a Nutshell 22). But Derrida is even more specific than this: “Each time I open my mouth, I am promising something... Even if I lie, the condition of my lie is that I promise to tell you the truth. So the promise is not just one speech act among others; every speech act is fundamentally a promise.” At times, however, Derrida will also suggest that we might not “know what Messianicity is without [Abrahamic] Messianism, without these events which were Abraham, Moses, and Jesus Christ, and so on” (23), an assertion that not only Marxist critics might disagree with but also Hindus, Buddhists, Confucians, or adherents to other non-Abrahamic religious traditions, not to mention agnostics and atheists.
KeywordsMiddle East Religious Tradition Universal Structure Jewish Religion Holy Place
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