Self-sacrifice: From the act of violence to the passion of love

International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 68 (1-3):77-94 (2010)
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The paper discusses the problem of self-sacrifice as posed by Derrida in Foi et Savior and by Schiller in the Theosophie des Julius. Whereas Derrida understands self-sacrifice as an act of violence against oneself in order not to subject others to violence, Schiller rightly insists that one must distinguish between egotistical and altruistic self-sacrifice. But even this doesn’t go far enough: Altruistic self-sacrifice is different from suffering death as the consequence of an entirely unselfish love. Whoever loses his life out of love does not give it up for others, whether selfishly or unselfishly. He loves the other—to death. Such a death is not a (self-)sacrifice. It results from a passion of love, not an act of violence against oneself



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