Eckhart, Derrida, and The Gift of Love

Heythrop Journal 56 (6):1010-1021 (2015)
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This paper argues that Jacques Derrida and Meister Eckhart both construe love as a gift that is entirely free of economic exchange, and both conclude on this basis that love cannot be grasped or identified. In my reading, Eckhart and Derrida do not rule out consideration of one’s own well-being, but their accounts do entail that calculated self-protection is external to love. For this reason, they suggest, lovers should not expect to balance love against a prudential restraint: although both demands are indelible, they function at different levels. A gift of this sort is ineluctably dangerous, but Derrida and Eckhart suggest that unsettling darkness must be endured in order to preserve the possibility of love.

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David Newheiser
Australian Catholic University

Citations of this work

The Nudity of the Ego. An Eckhartian Perspective on the Levinas/Derrida Debate on Alterity.Martina Roesner - 2016 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 47 (1):33-55.

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References found in this work

Writing and difference.Jacques Derrida - 1978 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Rogues: Two Essays on Reason.Jacques Derrida - 2005 - Stanford University Press.
The Gift of Death.Jacques Derrida - 1996 - University of Chicago Press.
Points...: interviews, 1974-1994.Jacques Derrida - 1995 - Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press. Edited by Elisabeth Weber.

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