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By Nancy, Jean-Luc; McKeane, John

During this paintings, Jean-Luc Nancy is going past his previous ancient and philosophical notion and attempts to imagine - or no less than crack open a bit to pondering - a stance or bearing that will be appropriate to the retreat of God that effects from the self-deconstruction of Christianity.


This publication makes use of a deconstructive approach to compile the background of Western Monotheism (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) and reflections on modern atheism. It develops Nancy's innovations of Read more...

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It measures an infinite distance, nothing else. 5 There is something in this thought—the extreme point of all thought—that belongs to all forms and all epochs of culture, religion, and philosophy. ) But there is also a characteristic that becomes sharper and more accentuated in the modern age. This is shown in a text by Kant—a text that of course still bears the marks of an age preceding modernity but which we can transpose in order to bring it closer to us. Kant writes: Thus the consideration of the profound wisdom of divine creation in the smallest things and of its majesty in the great whole, such as was indeed already available to human beings in the past but in more recent times has widened into the widest admiration—this consideration not only has such a power as to transport the mind into that sinking mood, called adoration, in which the human being is as it were nothing in his own eyes, but is also, with respect to the human moral determination, such a soul-elevating power, that in comparison words, even if they were those of King David in prayer .

It finds nothing to which it can attach itself, to which it can hold, nothing in which to inscribe a profession of faith or a grounded assurance. It finds nothing but fortune, its turns, its obverses and reverses. Not Fortune as a blind goddess who plays with our destinies, but this fortune of our lots [sorts], which is to say, that of our existences thrown into the world just as what were called sortes, blocks of wood that were suddenly detached from a string, were thrown. Our existences, which we neither bear nor bear up, thrown for no reason across the void that alone unites them, that gathers them via its enigma—or via its very clear obviousness [évidence].

Adoration is addressed to this opening. Adoration consists in holding onto the nothing—without reason or origin—of the opening. It is the very fact of this holding on. Adoration therefore carries itself with a certain humility. As the tradition knows in various ways, “ex nihilo” also means that God makes something of the most humble, of almost nothing, with no regard for what is powerful and remarkable. Humility, whether it be Jewish (Job), Christian (“for he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden”/“respexit humilitatem ancillae suae”; Luke 1:48), or Muslim (“Islam”: a trusting submission) has nothing to do with humiliation.

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