Until now, no critical work has touched on the Jewish dimension in Jacques Derrida’s philosophical oeuvre. Ofrat notes that early Derridean works contained few, if any, references to Jewish writers, concepts, or issues. At first glance, Judaism itself, along with all other structures found in traditional Western metaphysics, would appear to have no place in Derrida’s thought, but Ofrat argues that “Derrida cannot be thoroughly understood without elucidating the Jewish current running through his philosophy, right down to the scar of his circumcision.” A French-Algerian Jew, Derrida broke free of the Jewish consciousness and culture of his childhood—but taught that leaving something is a precondition for recognizing its significance. Ofrat suggests that Derrida’s philosophy grew from these early influences and the fragments of his Jewish identity, and he offers a comprehensive reading of Derridean writings and strong grounding in Jewish tradition. By approaching Derrida’s philosophical, poetic, and artistic themes through a Jewish lens, Ofrat gives a sophisticated, subtle, entirely fresh reading of one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century.
Gideon Ofrat has written extensively on philosophy, postmodernism, and Israeli art and culture and is the author of more than thirty books in Hebrew and English, including Triple Darkness: Plato, Kant, and Kierkegaard, One Hundred Years of Art in Israel, and Yonder: Theology of the Obscure.
Series: Library of Jewish Philosophy
6 x 9, 216 pages