The Hyphen : Between Judaism and Christianity (Philosophy and Literary Theory)

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9781573926355: The Hyphen : Between Judaism and Christianity (Philosophy and Literary Theory)

This brilliant and engaging critical encounter between Jean-Franžois Lyotard and Eberhard Gruber has as its focus a single punctuation mark-the hyphen connecting "Jew" and "Christian" in the expression "Judeo-Christian." While focusing on the nature, meaning, and function of this hyphen, the authors are able to analyze many of the essential differences between Judaism and Christianity, as well as the most significant historical and political consequences of these differences from the Roman Empire to the Shoah. Beginning with a reading of the Letters of Paul, they contrast the Jewish and Christian positions on a variety of issues ranging from emancipation, history, sacrifice, incarnation, faith, law, and sexual difference to the value that is accorded reading, writing, and interpretation within these two traditions.

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From the Inside Flap:

"If the 'Judeo-Christian' is what constitutes our tradition, then this tradition is affected, in its very midst, by a hyphen, and thus by an unbinding. Lyotard understands it as an irreducible differend; Gruber, as a sharing out, and thus also a passage. The question is ultimately: how are we, as old Westerners, to come to ourselves? That is the importance of this sharp and incisive book." -- Jean-Luc Nancy, Universite De Strasbourg

"In this book, two authentic thinkers meditate upon and engage in a dialogue about the cultural and religious foundations of Western civilization. What is usually simply taken for granted or presupposed, the Judeo-Christian synthesis, is here called into question as one of the pillars of Western thought. What, then, do development, progress, synthesis, and emancipation mean--especially when faced with the Shoah? . . . The foundations of the 'Christian West' must indeed be radically questioned, and such questioning, in the end, might well open an abyss. What stands as an obstacle in the discourse of the dialogue as an event is the . . . 'between,' and the 'hyphen' of this book." -- Dialogik der Religionen

About the Author:

The late Jean-Francois Lyotard was professor of philosophy at the Universite De Paris VIII (Universite De Vincennes) and a major literary critic and theoretician of postmodernism. Eberhard Gruber teaches in the Universite's Women's Studies Department.

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Jean-Francois Lyotard, Eberhard Gruber, Pascale-Anne Brault (Translator), Michael Naas (Translator)
Published by Humanity Books (1999)
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Lyotard, Jean-Francois, Gruber, Eberhard
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Jean-Francois Lyotard; Eberhard Gruber
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