Bijdragen 69 (3):285-304 (2008)

Aukje Van Rooden
University of Amsterdam
In his ‘deconstruction of Christianity’, Jean-Luc Nancy seeks to show how our modern, secular society and its so-called Christian ‘roots’ are co-original and mutually constitutive. As a result of this mutual constitution, the Christian religion is fundamentally characterised by its own deconstruction. This article focuses on one element of this auto-deconstructive movement of Christianity: that of prayer, or more generally, of addressing God. According to Nancy, prayer reveals how Christianity contains at its core, or rather as its core, the principal absence of its God and therefore the kernel of its own secularisation. This article examines why, in Nancy’s work, prayer has to be understood both as a form of demythologisation, as well as a poetic movement, a movement correlating with, and proper to, poetic practices. In adopting such an approach, Christianity’s auto-deconstruction is explained as a question of language
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DOI 10.2143/BIJ.69.3.2033144
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