December 31, 2005
Jacques Derrida on prayer, a two-hour lecture before a staggeringly erudite -- or at least mostly British-accented to the max -- audience.
To mention the Name of God is already an act of faith.... To name is to call.... Between the sceptic and the believer there is no contradiction.... Faith is at the same time a unique experience and something very common and universal...I try to dissociate unconditionality, and soveignty -- what one calls God, [from] absolute power, which nevertheless remains in the tradition.
And a "dangerous" discussion of Isaac on Sinai and Mohammed Atta, disallowing any religious justification for killing or suicide; as well as a careful delineation of "our experience as a living being" and its relationship to faith and Big Box religion.
A fine mind, imitated with varying success.
His rhetorical finesse is enviable: "If I were to try to improvise an answer to this very, very difficult question, it might be..."