The Bible and Critical Theory, Vol 1, No 4 (2005)

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About Gifts: Derrida, Scripture, Earth

Mark Manolopoulos


In recent times, the question of the gift has become a hot topic across a range of disciplines. Jacques Derrida was a key instigator: he disclosed the gift’s paradoxical or aporetic nature: it is both gratuitous and circular, excessive and reciprocal. An exemplary and decisive textual site of this duality is the Bible, where gift/ing is expressed according to extreme figures like grace and bribery – and much in between. But an examination of the gift should also move beyond the world of the text to the world itself. And so, we ask: ‘What if creation is a gift? How should we respond to the Earth?’

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Bible and Critical Theory: ISSN 1832-3391