The Death of Jacques Derrida

“Derrida added scepticism to a world of certitudes where every word had a final meaning and everything appeared to be simple.” Dr.C.Rajendran, comment on BTV News

“France has given the world one of its greatest contemporary philosophers, one of the major intellectual figures of our time”. Jacques Chirac, the French president, News Telegraph.

“Architects and designers could claim to take a deconstructionist approach to buildings by abandoning traditional symmetry and creating amorphously shaped spaces. The filmmaker Woody Allen titled one of his movies “Deconstructing Harry,” to suggest that his protagonist could best be understood by breaking down and analyzing his neurotic contradictions.” Twincities

newsDerrida died on Friday. I picked up one of his books in my library this afternoon called “Acts of Religion”. It did not impact me, just as it did not impact me previously.I have to say that i admired the man, and I realise that he was a great thinker, but I never really found myself impassioned by his thoughts. Yet, it should be said, that he was the “Father of Deconstructionism” and one significant way he impacted the church was by causing it to be suspicious of its own cultural bias towards interpretation of the “absolute truth”. This has led to a more humble approach to understanding Scripture, as people who “see through a glass dimly”.

The Skinny? Go to the Stephen Shields post. More reports at Washington Post and Times.

From Kermit Horn (France)
It is an electrifying thought to consider the scene of the Father of Deconstructionism who led much of the Western World in washing out the meaning of the text not only of the Bible but of all texts, being confronted by the source of Truth.  At least this: in his judgment he would have found that his life and words did indeed have meaning and perhaps he may find some consolation, some element of grace in that…  After all, he did claim that there was meaning but took great pains using words to show how words were inadequate to describe it.  Christians would agree that no words can adequately describe all of reality but we follow the Holy Scriptures in insisting that God is able to communicate clearly, through His Word and supremely through His Son, Jesus, as much of that reality as He wishes for us to grasp in this life.  He has created Human Beings with the necessary faculties to receive and to understand His meaning and He keeps veiled those mysteries that He intends for us to continue seeking and longing for but not attaining to until we see Him face to face.  Dt 29:29
Interestingly, his death comes as France celebrates the 20 year anniversary of the death of Michel Foucault, one of the other great postmodern thinkers.
(thanks to Jay Weaver for the email)


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.

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