Invited to answer questions about his relationship to Judaism, Jacques Derrida spoke through Franz Kafka: As for myself, I could imagine another Abraham.From the experience of a summons that surprises us and prompts the query Who, me?Derrida explores the movement between growing up Jewish, becoming Jewish,and Jewish beingor existence. His essay The Other Abrahamappears here in English for the first time. We no longer confront Judaismbut judeity,multiple Judaisms and Jewishnesses, manifold ways of being and writing as a Jew-in Derrida's case, as a French-speaking Algerian deprived of, then restored to French nationality in the 1940s. What is it to be a Jew and a philosopher? How has the notion of Jewish identitybeen written into and across Jewish literature, Jewish thought, and Jewish languages? Here distinguished scholars address these questions, contrasting Derrida's thought with philosophical predecessors such as Rosenzweig, Levinas, Celan, and Scholem, and tracing confluences between deconstruction and Kabbalah. Derrida's relationship to the universalist aspirations in contemporary theology is also discussed, and his late autobiographical writings are evaluated. This multifaceted volume aims to open the question of Jewishness, above all, to hold it open as a question, though not one of practical or theoretical identity. As much a contestation of identity as a profound reflection on what it means today to seek, elude, and finally to wrestle with the significance of being-jew,Judeities invites us to revisit the human condition in the twenty-first century.
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Published June 15, 2007
by Fordham University Press.
Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy.