Presentation Title

A-2 Binding of Isaac: Silence is Not the Last Word

Presenter Information

Arlyn DrewFollow

Presenter Status

PhD Candidate, ABD. Seminary: Theology and Christian Philosophy

Preferred Session

Oral Session

Start Date

25-10-2019 3:00 PM

Presentation Abstract

“Not all Hebrew narrative is a version of the Binding of Isaac, with its stark conjunction of fire, wood, knife and impending sacrifice, its breathtaking violation of human conceptions in man’s terrible exposure before God.” Yet, Abraham’s test strangely remains mysteriously silent, ambiguous, undifferentiated, and according to Eric Auerbach, fraught with background. Jacques Doukhan carefully delineated the literary chiastic structure of the narrative which revealed “human questions and silences at the center.” Soren Kierkegaard depicted Abraham as a silent knight of faith since nobody could understand him, demonstrating the religious teleological suspension of the ethical. Jacques Derrida's deconstruction of Abraham’s silence led him to believe God’s purpose was to test whether Abraham could keep this secret a secret. Usually secrets protect a shared truth, but Abraham didn’t know the secret at the center of their secret, the why behind the divine order. Thus, according to Derrida, Abraham's costly obedience hung only on the unique singularity of their bond without shared meaning. Is the final legacy of the Binding of Isaac to be isolated silence?

I believe God’s final words in the test of Abraham out-derrida Derrida, deconstruct his deconstruction, in other words, subtly expose what was assumed by Derrida to be hidden beyond reach. The supplement of Genesis 22:15-18 shows traces of six of the seven covenant revelations. The Binding of Isaac appears to be a customized summative, evaluative, diagnostic and formative test. God tested Abraham by a covenant crisis to elicit a paternal integrated covenant response from the divinely trained Abraham. If this Covenant Hypothesis is true, Abraham passed his test with a B.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 25th, 3:00 PM

A-2 Binding of Isaac: Silence is Not the Last Word

“Not all Hebrew narrative is a version of the Binding of Isaac, with its stark conjunction of fire, wood, knife and impending sacrifice, its breathtaking violation of human conceptions in man’s terrible exposure before God.” Yet, Abraham’s test strangely remains mysteriously silent, ambiguous, undifferentiated, and according to Eric Auerbach, fraught with background. Jacques Doukhan carefully delineated the literary chiastic structure of the narrative which revealed “human questions and silences at the center.” Soren Kierkegaard depicted Abraham as a silent knight of faith since nobody could understand him, demonstrating the religious teleological suspension of the ethical. Jacques Derrida's deconstruction of Abraham’s silence led him to believe God’s purpose was to test whether Abraham could keep this secret a secret. Usually secrets protect a shared truth, but Abraham didn’t know the secret at the center of their secret, the why behind the divine order. Thus, according to Derrida, Abraham's costly obedience hung only on the unique singularity of their bond without shared meaning. Is the final legacy of the Binding of Isaac to be isolated silence?

I believe God’s final words in the test of Abraham out-derrida Derrida, deconstruct his deconstruction, in other words, subtly expose what was assumed by Derrida to be hidden beyond reach. The supplement of Genesis 22:15-18 shows traces of six of the seven covenant revelations. The Binding of Isaac appears to be a customized summative, evaluative, diagnostic and formative test. God tested Abraham by a covenant crisis to elicit a paternal integrated covenant response from the divinely trained Abraham. If this Covenant Hypothesis is true, Abraham passed his test with a B.