Christian culture 基督教文化学刊

Derrida's Religion: Theology and Deconstruction

Auhtor: ZHANG Zhendong, Ph. D. Candidate, School of Philosophy, Tongji University



That the Jewish-Christian complex continuously troubled Derrida’s mind can be seen from the beginning of his research on Husserl’s phenomenology through to his interpretation of Freud’s psychoanalysis, and from rereading Kafka’s Before the Lawto writing his own book Specters of Marx. Though Jewish by descent, Derrida’s self-identity is always distanced from religion; or rather, as a philosopher, a perpetual alien with no sense of belonging, theology has always proved to be a welcoming host to him. But Derrida never became obsessed with this exclusively, since the property belonged to him by right. What interested him was the proper noun “theology” itself. The aim of this paper is to deal with the relation between Derrida and religion from the perspective of “negative thought”. By positing Derrida’s article “How to Avoid Speaking: Denials” in the genealogy of negative thought from Plato to Heidegger, this paper explores Derrida’s thought on how the blind in the Bible and the apocrypha bear witness to God’s works through their restored sight. This paper further argues that the metaphor of light represents not only the vision and the grace of Christianity, but also creates religio itself – an idea which is insufficiently questioned in European eyes.



Derrida, negative theology, religion, deconstruction


Full Text (International Version):

ZHANG ZhendongSCN JSCC.pdf


Full Text (Simplified Chinese Version): 

ZHANG ZhendongSCN JSCC.pdf