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  • Writer's pictureWalter

One you must read: “Faith and Knowledge,” from Acts of Religion by Jacques Derrida

Among discussing extensively on technology, Derrida explores the troubled place of religion in late modernity. The question of religion is that of an aporia produced by two sources: one of abstraction and dislocation, and the other of reacting to the resentment of capitalism. The conflict here implies, for example, that a religion which seeks to remain intact by discarding reason can do so only by means of reason and with the help of the most modern information-technology. On the other end of this spectrum, reason transforms itself into religion as soon as it might finally leave religion behind. Consequently, modern knowledge-technology is regarded as a kind of religion, if not, a form of mysticism.

According to Derrida:

Like others before, the new"wars of religion" are unleashed over the human earth (which is not the world) and struggle even today to control the sky with finger and eye: digital systems and virtually immediate panoptical visualization, "air space," telecommunications satellites, information highways, concentration of capitalistic-mediatic-power-in three words, digital culture, jet and TV without which there could be no religious manifestation today, for example no voyage or discourse of the Pope, no organized emanation of Jewish, Christian or Muslim cults, whether 'fundamentalist' or not. Given this, the cyberspatialized or cyberspaced wars of religion have no stakes other than this determination of the "world," of "history," of the "day" and of the "present."

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