Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Welcome to the New Fundamentalist Empire

How about a difficult and rich passage from Derrida, "Faith and Knowledge:"

1. The said "return of the religious," which is to say the spread of the complex and overdetermined phenomenon, is not a simple return, for its globality and its figures (tele-techno-media-scientific, capitalist and politico-economic) remains original and unprecedented. And it is not a simple return of the religious, for it comports, as one of its two tendencies, a radical destruction of the religious (stricto sensu, the Roman and the statist, like everything that incarnates the European political or juridical order against which all non-Christian "fundamentalisms" or "integrisms" are waging war, to be sure, but also certain forms of Protestant or even Catholic orthodoxy). It must be said as well that in face of them, another self-destructive affirmation of religion, I would dare to call it auto-immune, could well be at work in all the projects known as "pacifist" and economic, "catholic" or not, which appeal to universal fraternization, to the reconciliation of "men, sons of the same God," and above all when these brothers belong to the monotheistic tradition of the Abrahamic religions. It will always be difficult extricating this pacifying movement from a double horizon (the one hiding or dividing the other):


2. The same movement that renders indissociable religion and tele-technoscientific reason in its most critical aspect reacts inevitably to itself. It secretes its own anti-dote but also its own power of auto-immunity. We are here in a space where all self-protection of the unscathed, of the safe and sound, of the sacred (helig, holy) must protect itself against its own protection, its own police, its own power of rejection, in short against its own, which is to say, against its own immunity. It is this terrifying but fatal logic of the auto-immunity of the unscathed that will always associate Science and Religion.

(more here and here)

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