Title

Following a Religion without Religion: Is Derrida's Concept of "Pure Forgiveness" Merely and Impossible Dream?

Abstract

Religion has often been used as a justification for war and divisiveness. Followers of a specific religion are required to adhere to or believe a set of doctrines as established by their religion's founders and leaders. Failure to do so could result in punishment, shunning, or simply being considered an outsider. Do such aspects that can divide people belong in religion? The philosophers Jacques Derrida and John Caputo believe they do not.

Because of the injustices done in the name of religion, Derrida and Caputo have a dream for a religion that is "pure," one that is not divisive but affirming. Their dream is for a "religion without religion," one that does not exclude but embraces. In this work I endeavor to understand this difficult and ambiguous subject. I shall begin by outlining the central features of a religion without religion, which are the messianic, the gift, justice, and hospitality. Following this, I will examine more deeply one aspect of it, namely, Derrida's concept of "pure forgiveness." Is this idea merely an impossible dream? A careful analysis of "pure forgiveness" will in turn help structure my evaluation of religion without religion. As I will show, religion without religion has various strengths and weaknesses, but in keeping with the spirit of deconstruction, its weaknesses may actually be its strength.

Notes

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Thesis Completion

2006

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Strauser, Michael

Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Degree Program

Philosophy

Subjects

Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities; Caputo, John D. -- Prayers and tears of Jacques Derrida; Caputo, John D. -- Religion; Derrida, Jacques -- Religion

Format

Print

Identifier

DP0022108

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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