By Derrida, Jacques; Borradori, Giovanna; Cherif, Mustapha; Derrida, Jacques; Fagan, Teresa Lavender
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Extra resources for Islam and the West : a conversation with Jacques Derrida
But reason, too, when it refrains Introduction 8 from excesses and from claiming to govern meaning completely, when the unconditional is its principle and the inﬁnite its task, can and must promote worthy, moral, and humane behavior. Together, beings from the East and the West, thirsty for reason and for justice, meaning, openness—together, not separately—let us talk, discuss, analyze in order to endure the trial imposed on all humans: let us not substitute anything for this Open that is both absent and unspeakably present.
I was born a Jew in Algeria, from that part of the community which in 1870 had obtained nationality through the Cremieux Decree, and then lost it in 1940. When I was ten years old, during the Vichy regime, I lost my French citizenship, and for a few years, unable to attend the French school, I was a member of what at the time was called the native Jews, who during those times experienced more support from the Algerians than from what were known as the Algerian French. That was one of the earth-shattering experiences of my existence, one of the earth-shattering Algerian experiences of my existence.
One welcomes him from the bottom of one’s heart, respectfully, warmly, kindly, thanking him deeply for having accepted our invitation. I had been thinking for so long about this encounter, had been anticipating it, like something imperative, an act of faith, thinking of the questions I would bring up simply, through dialogue, with a major philosopher of our time, through a sharing of what is human, of what we have in common and which seems ungraspable, as “Algerians,” and also, beyond all names and borders, in an attempt to confront brieﬂy some of the many problems with which we are all faced today.
Islam and the West : a conversation with Jacques Derrida by Derrida, Jacques; Borradori, Giovanna; Cherif, Mustapha; Derrida, Jacques; Fagan, Teresa Lavender