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The Book of Daniel: From Biblical Archive to Posthuman Prophecy?

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Chapter Summary

Daniel is a text in the biblical archive that troubles the concept of the archivable and the notion of the animal as abyssally other. It conveys the slipperiness of archivisation, withholding the illusion of fully taming or detaining its content. The Book of Daniel lends itself to contemporary posthumanist calls to contemplate and confront the elasticity of life forms; the given, usurped, proximate and strategic boundaries of our ontological categories. Arkhe, Derrida writes, denotes both commencement and commandment; in other words, notions of beginning authority and decision. The Bible is a pivotal example of the archive, an archetypal archive. It is both commencement and commandment, poetics, prophecy, history and apocalypse. Also a cultural archive, the Bible stands accused of elevating the human as central, sacred and selected as sovereign creature, thus mummifying subjectivity or subjecthood as determinedly human.

Keywords: archetypal archive; Biblical archive; Book of Daniel; contemporary posthumanist; ontological categories



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