Grace to Derrida

September 04, 2006

I have just discovered that, for Derrida, not everything is a text. In a long interview published in Derrida and Religion(or here), Derrida is recorded as saying: "On or about 'grace given by God', deconstruction, as such, has nothing to say or to do. If it's given, let's say, to someone in a way that is absolutely improbable, that is, exceeding any proof, in a unique experience, then deconstruction has no lever on this...In relation to this experience of faith, deconstruction is totally, totally useless and disarmed." (p.39).
If I understand this properly, he is saying that you can't argue with personal experience. And if that experience is one of God's grace, then it is not deconstructable. What are we to make of this claim? Is Derrida saying that the revelation of God might be direct, unmediated by discourse, and all of the problems that follow? If so, does his claim fit better with sacramental or pentecostal Christianity than it does with evangelicalism?

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