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Europe after DerridaCrisis and Potentiality$
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Agnes Czajka and Bora Isyar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748683369

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748683369.001.0001

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Christianity, Secularism and the Crisis of Europe

Christianity, Secularism and the Crisis of Europe

(p.149) Chapter 10 Christianity, Secularism and the Crisis of Europe
Europe after Derrida

Ian Anthony Morrison

Edinburgh University Press

As Derrida suggests in the opening pages of The Other Heading the question of Europe is both ‘a question that will always be of current interest’ and the product of the pressure exerted by a particular imminence. The question and the response to this question — what is Europe? — always refer both to the ever-present (the essential Europe), the particular or contingent (Europe as it is), and demand an equation or conciliation of the two. In the two decades since the publication of Derrida’s text, the question of Europe has been promoted by the apparent crisis of an engagement with two imminent Others: in the form of the seemingly permanent presence of Muslim migrants and demands by Turkey to gain membership in Europe. In response to these Others, a dual and seemingly contradictory definition of Europe has emerged — Europe as secular and Christian. Europe is secular in relation to its Muslim migrants, and Christian in the face of secular/Muslim Turkey. Within this dualistic definition, often voiced by the same figures, no contradiction, excess or difference is permitted. Instead, a socio-historical paradigm in which Christianity and the secular form a necessary and symbiotic relationship is evoked. This chapter investigates this response to the imminent question of Europe and suggests that Derrida’s notions of Europe as difference-to-oneself, of the other heading, and the other of the heading, permit an opportunity to re-evaluate the relationship between Europe, Christianity and the secular, and open new possibilities for a Europe to come.

Keywords:   Europe, Derrida, Christianity, Islam, secularism, Turkey

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