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Religions 2019, 10(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020068

Jacques Derrida: The Double Liminality of a Philosophical Marrano

Philosophy Department, Salem State University, Salem, MA 01970, USA
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 19 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Marrano Phenomenon. Jewish ‘Hidden Tradition’ and Modernity)
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Abstract

There is an analogy between two types of liminality: the geographic or cultural ‘outside’ space of the Marrano Jew, alienated from his/her original religion and the one he or she has been forced to adopt, and, a philosophical position that is outside of both Athens and Jerusalem. Derrida finds and re-finds ‘h’ors- texte’, an ‘internal desert’, a ‘secret’ outside place: alien to both the western philosophical tradition and the Hebraic archive. In this liminal space he questions the otherness of the French language to which he was acculturated, and, in a turn to a less discursive modality, autobiography, finds, in the words of Helene Cixous, “the Jew-who-doesn’t know-that-he-is”. Derrida’s galut (exile) is neither Hebrew nor Greek. It is a private place outside of all discourse, which he claims, is inevitably ethnocentric. In inhabiting this outside space, he exercises the prerogative of a Marrano, equipped to critique the French language of his acculturation and the western philosophy of the scholars. French and Hebrew are irreconcilable binaries, western philosophy and his Hebrew legacy is as well. These issues will be discussed in this paper with reference to Monolingualism of the Other and Archive Fever as they augment some of his earlier work, Writing and Difference and Speech and Phenomena. View Full-Text
Keywords: Derrida; philosophical Marrano; liminal; archive; Hebrew; Greek; Monolingualism Derrida; philosophical Marrano; liminal; archive; Hebrew; Greek; Monolingualism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kutash, E. Jacques Derrida: The Double Liminality of a Philosophical Marrano. Religions 2019, 10, 68.

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