Derrida Today 6 (1):78-96 (2013)

Recent debates about the legacy (and, sometimes, surpassing) of Derridean philosophy have often oriented themselves around questions of a new austerity in relation to the implicit philosophical functioning of God. Indeed, an increasing philosophical vigilance about the death or nonexistence of God has begun to be presented as a hallmark of recent criticisms of earlier receptions of Derrida and, by way of messianic structures of time, of Derridean politics as well. We argue that the inflating value of atheism in recent texts operates most effectively within a broader forgetfulness of the many modes in which a serial dying of gods constitutes a more fundamental quality of the religio-political archive than the stability or life of these gods. We find, moreover, there to be something comical about a reconfiguration of the ontotheological archive around a tableau of serially dying Gods, this God who cannot stabilize or maintain for long any system of divine life support. Most importantly, we find that our sense of comedy is itself indicative of important shifts within the stylistics of Derridean discussions of auto-immunity and supplement which have yet to be worked through with any real seriousness. In this respect, our reflections pair Bergson's reflections on the universe as a ‘machine for the manufacture of gods’ with Bergson's explorations of comedy as a fundamentally mechanical affair. The serially dying gods of our religious and philosophical traditions are best understood in the same modes as Bergson's comedy, often marked by an automatism of everyday mechanisms of life which outlive their useful functioning
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DOI 10.3366/drt.2013.0053
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Fear and Trembling.Søren Kierkegaard - 1941 - Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday.
Fear and Trembling.Søren Kierkegaard - 1986 - Cambridge University Press.
Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression.Jacques Derrida - 1996 - University of Chicago Press.

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