Living Together: Jacques Derrida's Communities of Violence by Elisabeth Weber

By Elisabeth Weber

For Jacques Derrida, the notions and reports of "community," "living," and "together" by no means ceased to harbor radical, in truth endless interrogations. the customarily anguished query of ways to "live together" moved Derrida all through his oeuvre, animating his sustained reflections on hospitality, friendship, accountability, justice, forgiveness, and mourning, in addition to his interventions as an outspoken critic of South Africa's apartheid, the Israel/Palestine clash, the bloody civil conflict in his local Algeria, human rights abuses, French immigration legislation, the loss of life penalty, and the "war on terror." "Live together," Derrida wrote, "one needs to . . . one can't now not 'live together,' whether one doesn't know the way or with whom."

In this quantity, the paradoxes, impossibilities, and singular percentages that hang-out the need of "living together" come to mind in Derrida's essay "Avowing--The most unlikely: 'Returns,' Repentance, and Reconciliation," round which the gathering is collected. Written by means of students in literary feedback, philosophy, felony reviews, spiritual experiences, heart jap experiences, and sociology operating in North the USA, Europe, and the center East, the essays during this quantity take on matters corresponding to the obligations and fragility of democracy; the pitfalls of decreed reconciliation; the re-legitimization of torture within the "war on terror"; the connections among Orientalism, Semitism, and anti-Semitism; the delocalizing dynamics of globalization; crimes opposed to humanity; nationalism; and politics because the paintings now not of the potential yet of the impossible.

The quantity comprises analyses of present controversies and struggles. the following, Derrida is the following learn in and with reference to parts of extreme political conflict--in specific, those who oppose Israelis and Palestinians, Hindus and Muslims, sufferers and perpetrators of South African apartheid, Turks and Armenians.The necessity of an infinitely sufferer mirrored image is going hand in hand with the duty of justice as that which mustn't ever wait. it really is within the spirit of such urgency, of a accountability that can't be postponed, that the essays during this quantity have interaction with Derrida's considering on "living together."

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Additional resources for Living Together: Jacques Derrida's Communities of Violence and Peace

Sample text

An unconditional forgiveness is an absolute initiative that no calculation, whether sublime or spiritual, should motivate. But, on the other hand, the same tradition reminds us, in a prevalent, dominant, and hegemonic fashion, this time, that forgiveness can be granted only in a conditional fashion, there where there is acknowledgment of a fault, avowal, repentance, return upon the past, present or future transformation, forgiveness asked. Although in his book Forgiveness [Le pardon], Vladimir Jankélévitch had spoken of a hyperbolic ethics of forgiveness, he nonetheless firmly declared— especially during the time when, in France, one was debating the imprescriptibility of crimes against humanity—that forgiveness could not be granted to those who never asked for it by pleading guilty.

For example, the global and local fight for the abolition of apartheid, followed by the institution of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, was possible only because of the official recognition of apartheid as a crime against humanity—by the UN among others. This international juridical act provides a reference on whose basis the commission grants itself its authority. It articulates a logic signifying that any state racism (which the “living together” that called itself apartheid was), any racism, and any segregation based on birth, where it is encouraged or permitted in the laws of a state, is a crime against humanity.

At the very moment where he recalls that “the principle of Jewish forgiveness” becomes a “pure rule, 35 JACQUES DERRIDA unanimously acknowledged by man, and by him uniquely, before the Lord,” Hermann Cohen does not dissociate forgiveness from repentance. With this “forgiveness,” which is, he says, explicitly designed as the objective of the Torah, he then associates, as if it were one and the same thing, teshuvah, which, he recalls, designates repentance and means “return,” “change,” return to the good, return unto oneself.

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