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Chapter Summary

The textual encounter between Jacques Derrida and Christian Neoplatonism is one in which, rather conveniently, Derrida's own writing on the latter can form an appropriate starting-point. The essay "How to Avoid Speaking: Denials" is divided into two main parts; (i) Derrida undertakes a general discussion of "negative theology", a topic which he had addressed obliquely for many years but never examined in a thorough and continuous way, and (ii) Denials", Derrida interprets passages from pseudo-Dionysius' works especially De Divinis Nominibus and De Mystica Theologia in combination with two of Meister Eckhart's German sermons Sermon 9 Quasi stella matutina Sermon 83 Renovamini spiritu. Within the context formed by the relation between man (woman) and God and with an implicit emphasis on the dialectical relation between affirmative and negative divine attributes, Derrida first discusses the Dionysian treatment of prayer.

Keywords: Christian Neoplatonism; De Divinis Nominibus; De Mystica Theologia; Jacques Derrida; negative theology; prayer; pseudo-Dionysius' works; Quasi stella matutina; Renovamini spiritu



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