The Moment Of Faith: Against Relativism Through A Reinterpretation Of The Story Of Abraham


Abstract
In the United States, it is common for people entering christian organizations to receive explanation of what the Bible means before being handed the book and asked to read. Religious ideological transfer stems from this strict codification, and the Story of Abraham highlights the effective blending between original text and interpretation. Recognizing how the Story of Abraham calls for, as Kierkegaard suggested, a suspension of the ethical for obedience, it justifies entrance into a religious state of exception, a fully subjective moment into which the sole sovereign of “divine will” is the self. The social ramifications, beyond a-logical relativism, involve the historic and continued justification of religious otherization and dehumanization, shrined in a belief of divinity. In contemporary debate, the religious hunker down, entrenching themselves within their ideology, while many in deconstructivist camps want to tear these institutions apart. I suggest a middle-ground: a radical reinterpretation — through philosophical, linguistic and literary theory methods — of the Story of Abraham as a narrative reflecting the Tower of Babel motif, to work within the christian ideological system to create strategic biblical interpretations for positive social effect
Keywords The Binding of Isaac, Søren Kierkegaard, faith, State of Exception, Giorgio Agamben, sociology of religion, meaning-text, Omri Boehm, ethics, christianity
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