Daily Living on Mount Moriah: An Insight from Jacques Derrida

In his book The Gift of Death or Donner La Morte, Jacques Derrida interacts with Søren Kierkegaard’s pseudonymous work Fear and Trembling in which he examines the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac on Mount Moriah. Spoiler alert: In the end, Abraham does not kill his son. Still, the text suggests that he was willing to do so out of obedience to the God who brought him out of Chaldea and faith in this God’s promises of blessing, land, and abundant offspring through his son Isaac.

While Abraham is often and rightly presented as a hero of faith and even the father of the faithful, he is almost as often presented as an exception and extraordinary individual in extraordinary circumstances. As Kierkegaard’s pseudonym Johannes de Silentio notes after hearing a sermon on Abraham a pastor would be disturbed if one of his congregation told him that he felt called to sacrifice his child. So, yes, Abraham’s circumstances are extraordinary and exceptional.

Nevertheless, as Silentio explains, from an ethical perspective, Abraham is a murderer. Continue reading “Daily Living on Mount Moriah: An Insight from Jacques Derrida”

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On Fairy Stories: J.R.R. Tolkien, Jaws, and Jeremy Wade

My recent post thanking Heidi and directing you to her blog, reminded me of the value that many modern influential Christians find in “fairy tales” and “nursery tales.” These authors include J.R.R Tolkien and his friend C.S. Lewis both of whom read G.K Chesterton and George MacDonald. In turn, these authors have been influential in my thinking and remind me to attend to my imagination. Fairy Stories take us into a world that is not and in doing so they increase our appreciation and awareness of the world that is. As Chesterton notes in Orthodoxy, we read about rivers that flow with jelly and trees that bear diamonds and then we re-discover a world in which rivers flow with fresh waters and trees bear juicy peaches and crisp apples. Continue reading “On Fairy Stories: J.R.R. Tolkien, Jaws, and Jeremy Wade”

Bluebeard: Tragic Hero or Demoniac? or What hath Copenhagen to do with the Magic Kingdom?

On her blog, SurLaLune Fairy Tales, Heidi Anne Heiner shared a little bit about an article I published. Kierkegaard Literary Figures & Motifs KRSRR vol 16. So, I will return the favour. If you like fairy tales, then you should visit Heidi’s blog.

Heidi’s collection Bluebeard Tales From Around the World was extremely helpful when it came time to research possible sources for Søren Kierkegaard’s Blaubart (or Bluebeard) allusions. At first, it seemed like a no brainer that of course he was dependant on the Brothers Grimm but they dropped it in their second edition after discovering its origins were, ugh, en français. C’est dommage.  Continue reading “Bluebeard: Tragic Hero or Demoniac? or What hath Copenhagen to do with the Magic Kingdom?”