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Interfaith Dialogue: A Deconstructive Site for the Cycles of Mythic Violence?

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journal contribution
posted on 22.05.2017, 03:04 by Elyse Rider
The arena of interfaith dialogue is an important site for the investigation of how a deconstructive ethic can play out against the established cycles of mythic foundational and divine interruptive violence. An investigation here of key deconstructive themes theorised by Jacques Derrida will be woven into a methodology for an interfaith dialogue that moves deeper into cross-difference engagement and co-creative cultural growth. In developing this methodology I seek a deconstructive ethic and an appropriate structure for a generative culture in which cohesion is defined through difference. With these interests in mind I will address first the nature of divine and mythic violence as defined by Walter Benjamin. An overview of current interfaith dialogue approaches will then follow and the proposed praxis of a "pluralist-deconstructive" dialogue introduced. Derrida's themes of justice, sacrifice and faith will in turn be used to expand the potential of this praxis, adding deeper dimensions to the concepts of self, other and God in religion and its potential development. I will then move into an exploration of what Derrida's deconstructive project may mean in a social context and, more specifically, an interfaith context. Finally, a structure will be proposed which utilises Derrida's theory on différance to weave together the concepts explored into a methodological ideal for interfaith cultural development through hospitable dialogue.


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