Tagged: Derrida

Derrida & Sons: Marx, Benjamin, and the Specter of the Messianic

Taking its cue from Derrida’s late figure of a messianicité sans messianisme, a messianic without messianism, a structural messianism without religion, this article is concerned with a  materialist – if not atheist – reading of the messianic. It is in Derrida where we can grasp the paradoxical structure of a messianic promise that can not be reduced to Judeo-Christian theology proper or, as others have argued, a theological turn of deconstructivism. Although messianic thought has its origins in the Jewish tradition, especially in the trends of Jewish mysticism, Derrida’s point of reference is of different nature. It was Walter Benjamin’s peculiar sort of Marxism who enlisted the services of messianic theology undermining – if not suspending – the instrumental logic of master and servant or, as his famous allegory of the chess automaton has it, puppet and dwarf.

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