Religion and Violence
Philosophical Perspectives from Kant to Derrida
Originally published in 2002. Does violence inevitably shadow our ethico-political engagements and decisions, including our understandings of identity, whether collective or individual? Questions that touch upon ethics and politics can greatly benefit from being rephrased in terms borrowed from the arsenal of religious and theological figures, because the association of such figures with a certain violence keeps moralism, whether in the form of fideism or humanism, at bay. Religion and Violence: Philosophical Perspectives from Kant to Derrida's careful posing of such questions and rearticulations pioneers new modalities for systematic engagement with religion and philosophy alike.
About the Author
Hent de Vries is Paulette Goddard Professor of the Humanities. He is Professor of German, Religious Studies, Comparative Literature, and Affiliated Professor of Philosophy. He received his BA/MA in Judaica and Hellenistic Thought (Theology), Public Finance and Political Economy (Law), at Leiden University, and obtained his PhD there in Philosophy of Religion, with a study on Theodor W. Adorno and Emmanuel Levinas, Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida, entitled Theologie im pianissimo: Zwischen Rationalität und Dekonstruktion. Before joining NYU, de Vries directed The Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University, holding the Russ Family Chair in the Humanities with a joint appointment in Philosophy. He also taught in the Philosophy departments of Loyola University in Chicago and the University of Amsterdam, where he long held the Chair of Metaphysics and its History and co-founded and directed the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. He received visiting positions and fellowships at Harvard, Chicago, Princeton, Brown, Columbia, the Paris Collège International de Philosophie, the Université Saint Louis in Brussels, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Université de Paris, Panthéon-Sorbonne. Hent de Vries is currently serving his second term as Director of the summer School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University (SCT), Ithaca. In 2018, he was the Titulaire of the Chaire de Métaphysique Étienne Gilson at the Institut Catholique, Paris. He is the Editor of the book series "Cultural Memory in the Present," published by Stanford University Press.
"One cannot but be impressed by the acumen and erudition of Hent de Vries' Religion and Violence, which is a very fine addition to contemporary continental European philosophy of religion... It is a book well worth reading."
"Religion and Violence continues de Vries's reexamination of the place of philosophical theology and the philosophy of religion in the major texts of continental philosophy. Both subjects are transformed as de Vries meticulously unpacks the major texts of the post-Kantian philosophical tradition, unfolding in effect a new history of the afterlife of theology."
"A rich text with many insightful readings... Hent de Vries is an excellent philosopher and scholar."
"Demonstrates with rich erudition how the Derridian programmatic can shed light on the 'religious' dimension of philosophical and ethical strategies that seek to address violence."
"One of a number of first-rate monographs published in the field of philosophy this year."
"Here Hent de Vries deals with some of the most difficult authors—Kant, Kierkegaard, Benjamin, Levinas, and—throughout—Jacques Derrida, as well as with some of the most difficult issues in philosophy (not to say in political and personal life) there are, and the result is a rich, rewarding, and extremely important book."
"Hent de Vries counters the reductions of ethics to morality (and to moralism) by offering a capacious understanding of error as essential to the ethical turn. This book reverberates with intellectual complexity and intensity."
"With outstanding skill and remarkable insight, de Vries interrogates a range of texts from Kant to Derrida and challenges us to rethink the received picture of 'the secular Enlightenment.'."
|Johns Hopkins University Press|
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