The non-knowing self and the impossible other: The deconstruction and apophasis of the Western subjectivity in theological discourses. Soonyang Choi

ISBN: 9781109374100

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The non-knowing self and the impossible other: The deconstruction and apophasis of the Western subjectivity in theological discourses.  by  Soonyang Choi

The non-knowing self and the impossible other: The deconstruction and apophasis of the Western subjectivity in theological discourses. by Soonyang Choi
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This dissertation proposes an apophatic subjectivity as a new way of understanding the human subject of theology. It therefore examines the concept of detachment and self-annihilation in the linked medieval mystics Meister Eckhart andMoreThis dissertation proposes an apophatic subjectivity as a new way of understanding the human subject of theology. It therefore examines the concept of detachment and self-annihilation in the linked medieval mystics Meister Eckhart and Marguerite Porete through the lenses of both Jacques Derridas deconstruction and Trinh T.

Minh-has critical non-knowingness.-The detachment of Eckhart and Porete presupposes that unity with the Godhead can only happen when humans become as nothing, that is, when one becomes free from the constructed distinctions that divide the human from the divine. Human language is one of the distinctions to which Eckhart and Porete paid special attention to.-I argue that Eckharts caution against language as humanly constructed finds an echo in the writings of Jacques Derrida, who deconstructs the idea that language can truly represent human reality.

Paying attention to what is hidden and disregarded in discourse, Derrida proposes that there is always an other whose singularity exists beyond closed languages.-Deduced from Derridas proposition, tout autre est tout autre , (every other is wholly other), I propose: The human other as well as the God of Christianity can be read as the wholly other whose secret or singularity should be respected as something both impossible and inexpressible.-Derridas deconstruction presumes that the standard I has been confirmed at the expense of the other as its negative figure. Derridas attention to others is re-cast in Trinhs idea of the non-unitary subject that exceeds oppositional explanations.-Trinhs non-knowingness, which disrupts and overcomes the objectifying and colonizing of the other, lays the foundation for apophatic subjectivity, which I present as an alternative understanding of humanity.

For Trinh, people who have been objectified as the other should seek out for the forms of differences that cannot be put in oppositional and dualistic terms---the terms of the medieval mystical distinction. Such differences---hybridity, multiplicity, and unending continuity---can be encountered only after the all-knowing desire and the prejudices of the standardized I have disappeared. This is akin to Poretes premodern annihilatio, and yet nonetheless is a subjectivity in which the I un-knows and un-does all unnecessary baggage.



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