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Deconstruction, Ethics and Islam

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A criticism of all totalizing knowledge, deconstruction rejects all appeals to ontological, epistemological or ethical absolutes as a metaphysics of presence. Like all postmodernist philosophies, it presents serious difficulties for traditional monotheistic theologies and their basic affirmations about the human subject. Some are apprehensive of the atheistic tendencies of deconstruction, but others have enthusiastically argued for the possibility of a theistic appropriation of postmodern themes and their hermeneutics of suspicion and finitude. This article provides an outline of the ethico-theroretical basis of deconstruction, and examines its ethical claims. Derrida's views on Islam as reflected in his discourse on hospitality are examined, and a critical evaluation of the ethical propositions of deconstruction from an Islamic perspective is presented.


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