By Derrida, Jacques; Borradori, Giovanna; Cherif, Mustapha; Derrida, Jacques; Fagan, Teresa Lavender

ISBN-10: 0226102866

ISBN-13: 9780226102863

ISBN-10: 0226102874

ISBN-13: 9780226102870

In the spring of 2003, Jacques Derrida sat down for a public debate in Paris with Algerian highbrow Mustapha Chérif. The eminent thinker arrived on the occasion at once from the sanatorium the place he had simply been clinically determined with pancreatic melanoma, the sickness that will take his lifestyles simply over a 12 months later. That he nonetheless participated within the alternate testifies to the value of the topic to hand: the more and more distressed dating among Islam and the West, and the questions of freedom, justice, and democracy that encompass it.
As Chérif relates during this account in their discussion, the subject of Islam held targeted resonance for Derrida—perhaps it really is to be anticipated that close to the top of his existence his innovations could go back to Algeria, the rustic the place he used to be born in 1930. certainly, those roots served because the impetus for their conversation, which first facilities at the ways that Derrida’s Algerian-Jewish id has formed his pondering. From there, the 2 males circulate to broader questions of secularism and democracy; to politics and faith and the way the previous manipulates the latter; and to the parallels among xenophobia within the West and fanaticism between Islamists.
Ultimately, the dialogue is an try and tear down the suggestion that Islam and the West are civilizations locked in a sour fight for supremacy and to re-evaluate them because the beaches of the Mediterranean—two halves of a similar geographical, spiritual, and cultural sphere. Islam and the West is a vital chance to extra our figuring out of Derrida’s perspectives at the key political and non secular divisions of our time and a regularly relocating testomony to the ability of friendship and unity to surmount them.

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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.

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Islam and the West : a conversation with Jacques Derrida by Derrida, Jacques; Borradori, Giovanna; Cherif, Mustapha; Derrida, Jacques; Fagan, Teresa Lavender

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