Friday, January 21, 2022

Derrida: Leviticus 10:10

Poking around in leftover thoughts scavaged on by the vultures of my intellect, I came upon this doctoral thesis by Adrian Platts:

Jacques Derrida, the Sacred Other and Seventh-day Adventism: Stumbling on the Creative Play of Différance in Genesis.

This seems to be the only text on the internet (as of first Google search) that uses Leviticus 10:10 and Derrida together:

What Derrida means when he uses the word "sacred" is not immediately evident nor is it necessarily consistent. The French - sacrĂ© - clearly sharing a common root with the English, provides no obvious additional insight. In a biblical context, one stumbles on the word "holy" - the Hebrew root being transliterated qdsh. Whether in the verbal form (qadash) or as a noun (qodesh), the idea of holiness or the sacred is denoted - including the idea of being separated or set apart. Hence, the sacred stands in direct contrast to that which is "common or profane" as in Leviticus 10:10: "You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the clean and the unclean" (NIV). Here "qodesh occurs as the antithesis of hol ('profane,' 'common')." (p. 36, ft. 144) (Platts adds another antithesis: blessing, curse. p. 36) 

See 144 Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr. and Bruce K. Waltke (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), s.v. "1990.

The author of this doctoral thesis is Adrian Platts, and he wrote it in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town, in November 2012.

Platts himself speaks correctly in noting that the basic meaning of "holiness" is that of being "set apart" or "separated," but I hesitate to give "blessing, curse" the same status. Not having read all of Platts's thesis, I don't know what he does concerning Derrida's inconsistency, but Leviticus 10:10 might offer some insight, given the verse's use of both parallelism and chiasm. 

Maybe . . .


At 6:46 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

See Anthony Kenny's Illustrated Brief History of Western Philosophy, 20th Anniversary Edition. Kenny offers an amusing gloss on Derrida. After reading it one might properly ask, "Good grief! How on Earth was it possible so many 'intellectuals' and 'scholars' found Derrida a matter of interest?"

Why indeed?

Here's a link to the book:

Kenny's Book

The revised 20th anniversary edition is the only one with Derrida. Maybe it is in your library there?

At 6:48 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I am ignorant of Kenny's book and lack access to whatever has too little presence on the internet.

But I do need to know Derrida and his ideas because of his influence on literary criticism.

Also, on cultural criticism.


Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:36 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

I will PDF the Derrida section and send to you.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks. I look forward to it.

Jeffery Hodges

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