Shallow Graves: Toward a Philosophical Comedy of Tears Over the Serial Dying of Gods

Blanton, Ward, Sherwood, Yvonne (2013) Shallow Graves: Toward a Philosophical Comedy of Tears Over the Serial Dying of Gods. Derrida Today, 6 (1). pp. 78-96. ISSN 1754-8500. E-ISSN 1754-8519. (doi:10.3366/drt.2013.0053) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/drt.2013.0053

Abstract

Recent debates about the legacy (and, sometimes, surpassing) of Derridean philosophy have often oriented themselves around questions of a new austerity in relation to the implicit philosophical functioning of God. Indeed, an increasing philosophical vigilance about the death or nonexistence of God has begun to be presented as a hallmark of recent criticisms of earlier receptions of Derrida and, by way of messianic structures of time, of Derridean politics as well. We argue that the inflating value of atheism in recent texts operates most effectively within a broader forgetfulness of the many modes in which a serial dying of gods constitutes a more fundamental quality of the religio-political archive than the stability or life of these gods. We find, moreover, there to be something comical about a reconfiguration of the ontotheological archive around a tableau of serially dying Gods, this God who cannot stabilize or maintain for long any system of divine life support. Most importantly, we find that our sense of comedy is itself indicative of important shifts within the stylistics of Derridean discussions of auto-immunity and supplement which have yet to be worked through with any real seriousness. In this respect, our reflections pair Bergson's reflections on the universe as a ‘machine for the manufacture of gods’ with Bergson's explorations of comedy as a fundamentally mechanical affair. The serially dying gods of our religious and philosophical traditions are best understood in the same modes as Bergson's comedy, often marked by an automatism of everyday mechanisms of life which outlive their useful functioning.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3366/drt.2013.0053
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Depositing User: N. Isaeva
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2014 19:09 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 12:57 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/42467 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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