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15. On the Seminal Adventure of the Trace

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1. Title Title of document 15. On the Seminal Adventure of the Trace - Constructing Data in Religious Studies
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Joel Harrison; Northwestern University; United States
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religious Studies
4. Subject Keyword(s) language; differánce; theory; critical theory; genealogy; deconstruction; empiricism; social science; play; totalization; non-totalization; system; ethnography; sign; signifier; signified; supplement; Derrida
5. Subject Subject classification academic study of religion; theory of religion
6. Description Abstract This chapter argues the work of Jacques Derrida, particularly his concept of “deconstruction,” ought not be connected to debates over whether or not reality is in part mind-dependent. Derrida’s work on the nature of language cannot be connected to these debates because, for Derrida, language only refers to itself, not an external reality. This claim has no bearing on the nature of reality or our relationship to reality; it only refers to our discourse about reality. Drawing this distinction is important for understanding the stakes of Derrida’s project and the implications of his conclusions. For religious studies, Derrida shows us that debates over how to define “religion” should not revolve around the kinds of empirical data that might fit, exceed, or contest a proper definition; rather, our interest ought to be in the ways that our discourse about religion slips away from us the moment we think we have it pinned down. In other words, the problem of how scholars can speak about religion is a problem exclusively of language rather than experience.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 08-Oct-2019
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.34180
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Constructing Data in Religious Studies
16. Language English=en En
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd