Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The prayers of Jacques Derrida

Chalk this post up on account of my undying love for philosophy, and thusly, I apologize.

That said, I have recently delved into the philosophy of the "hated" postmodern philosopher, Jacques Derrida (pictured above). Derrida, the "father" of deconstruction, was nothing like the stereotypical caricatures that I had grown accustomed to which said Derrida thought truth was "relative." In fact, before he died, many postmodern philosophers went to great length to derail Derrida's ideas.

What has interested me especially, was Derrida's religion that he was outspoken about before he died. Much of this unique religion is covered in the book The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida's which has sparked my fancy.

The religion of Derrida, is quite paradoxical. He considered himself an atheist, but yet he would pray at least nightly, sometime to the point of tears.

What is so interesting to me is not so much the atheism, nor the fine intricacies that Derrida went about to define his religion as a "Religion without religion" and who prayed to a "God without God."

But rather what has been so moving to me is the sincere humility Derrida went about his religion and prayers...

In short, Derrida realizes first and foremost, that he is human. and thus he is fallen and fallible. And the human tendency is to think that our world revolves around each one of ourselves.

But yet, we know the world doesn't revolve around us, and we are not the center of the universe.

Thus prayer in a way, is a way Derrida seeks to rid himself of self. He wants to love people, and thus in prayer he attempts to repent of himself so that he won't get in the way of love.

Derrida is the one who had me speechless when he asked "what do I love when I love my God?"

And in that one question I felt as if I had entered into a question that was absolutely divine....

When I pray, who am I praying to?

Of course, I am praying to Jesus who died for my sins.

But am I letting Jesus be Jesus in my life?

Or is the Jesus I pray to and confess my loyalty, an idol image where I have constructed Jesus to be the Jesus that appeases my own life and lifestyle?

Is my Jesus just the Jesus that I follow because He makes me secure and tells me that I get to go to heaven when I die?

That is why I love the way Derrida asked the question: He didn't ask : "who do I love when I love my God?" But rather, Derrida asked "What do I love when I love my God?"

Perhaps, in our most fallen nature, we aren't following a who when we follow God, but rather a what in the form of a carved image that satisfies us and our anxieties.

Thus, for Derrida,  prayer is not just a lifting up of God, but it is also just as much a repositioning of one's self in relation to God as to not distort our view of God,

1 comment:

Inspector Clouseau said...

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