religion in the current understanding of the term. There is indeed neither reason nor justification to disagree with this line of argumentation. The readings that have sustained it have moreover begun and flourished in compelling scholarly works of varied persuasions.60 All this may be granted and the slightly contrary claim could even be made that not only has there been no "return" of the religious—not in Derrida—but also that a collection of the central texts among those just mentioned would advance the debates that have already been generated by the individual works.61 Such a collection would strengthen the merits of considering these works under the heading of "religion." Still, because of what Derrida said when he went to speak "on religion" in, for example, Religion, it remains possible that Derrida did not say what he would have wanted to say ("I am saying nothing, then, that can be said or sayable"),62 on religion among other things. If there are conclusions to be drawn from this possibility, they are anything but certain. They implicate and engage any thinking of religion "in" and even "after" Derrida. It is from this uncertainty that the present anthology takes its point of departure in order to turn toward Derrida's own conclusion—if it is one—the conclusion for what is, in context, his most explicit statement (perhaps) on religion, in Religion, in "Faith and Knowledge": "There was, perhaps, what I would have wanted to say. . . . "


—Arabic expression

Hafiza 'an zahri qalb.

The event cannot be as noisy as a bomb, as garish or blazing as some metal held in the fire. Even were it still an event, here it would be—strict-ure against strict-ure—inapparent and marginal.

—Jacques Derrida63

" . . . et grenades" (" . . . and pomegranates," but also—"Each time what is involved is a machine, il s'agit chaque fois de machine"—64 " . . . and grenades") is the title of

60. Without doing justice to the specificity and diversity of directions pursued in each of them, I am here referring to the works of such scholars and thinkers as Mohammed Arkoun, Christopher Bracken, Pascale-Anne Brault, John Caputo, Thomas Carlson, Harold Coward, Jean-Jacques Forté, Toby Foshay, Rodolphe Gasché, Susan Handelman, Kevin Hart, Abdelkebir Khatibi, Michael Naas, Elisa New, Jill Robbins, Gayatri Spivak, Mark Taylor, Hent de Vries, Elisabeth Weber, Shira Wolosky, and others (see bibliography) .

61. Derrida's own reflections on the theological were hard to miss (although, it appears, not hard to misread) from the earliest publications, and could be witnessed as well in a certain reception of his work such as Mikel Dufrenne and Henri Meschonnic.

62. Derrida, Politics of Friendship, 70.

63. Derrida, Glas, 107.

64. Derrida, "Faith and Knowledge;' in this volume, section 37.

Jacques Derrida - Acts of Religion