• The Challenge of Love: Impossible Difference, Levinas and Irigaray

      Olthuis, James H.; Baker, Larry Joseph; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2004-08)
      Engaging the question of postmodern ethical intersubjectivity in the work of Emmanuel Levinas and Luce Irigaray I attempt to move beyond Levinas sacrificial view of intersubjectivity with Irigaray's critique of sexual difference. I argue that Levinas view of ethical 'subjectivity' is violently conditioned by a necessary narcissim located in Levinas's description of the feminine dwelling. Instead of narcissim I argue with Irigaray for a way of love that offers an ethical relationship bonded in mutuality. This way of love is rooted in an understanding of the primordial matter of life as good for intersubjective-relationships that do not depend upon narcissim for connection. Concluding this study I suggest that his kind of intersubjectivity can be rooted in a primordial way of life found in the rhythm of breath.
    • Love's Circumscriptions - the self in hide(ing) - : Surviving and Reviving the Truth

      Olthuis, James H.; Leaman, Michele; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2005-11)
      I trace Jacques Derrida's notions of self and truth in Circumfession. This text paints a gruesome self-portrait depicting the inescapable violence of subjectivity. The self is born in blood. Derrida courageously confesses to being a casualty of this lovelessness. Similarly, exploring the depth of patriarchy's inscriptions requires facing the painful truth of my bleeding self. Investigating these wounds seems to reopen them, making me complicit in my own oppression. Drawing from the rich narrative of Ingeborg Bachmann's novel Malina, I allow feminists such as Helene Cixous, Luce Irigaray, Drucilla Cornell and bell hooks to engage Derrida's notions of the wounded and wounding self. Beginning in this bloody place, they attempt to write a way-out of the disempowering systems of subjectivity to which the female self seems confined. They write in order that love will bleed some light on the struggle for empowered female subjectivity, re-writing the self as a space of love rather than violence.
    • Relationship Issues: Forgiveness and Promising According to Hannah Arendt and Jacques Derrida

      Hoff, Shannon; Ratzlaff, Caleb; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2015-08-31)
      In retrospect this learning experience lead me to two conclusions. First, the way we hold someone responsible must reflect the openness and vulnerability of the actor and those to whom she relates. What we do when we hold someone responsible, administering a sentence, for example, must respond to the unending process of interaction and transformation that defines the human person in intersubjective life. This essentially describes the meaning and limits of holding someone responsible. The second lesson was more directly addressed in this thesis. It concerns the idea that the uncertain and vulnerable characteristics of the self that accompany our transformability, are not simply detriments to responsibility. Rather, the uncertain nature of a self as it exists in relationship with others is a condition of meaningfulness, responsibility, and love. As a condition of responsibility, our finitude calls for the sustaining ethical practices of promises and forgiveness. Uncertainty, even in its greatest manifestations as birth and death, is something we can embrace.
    • Revealing/Reveiling the Sacred: the Atheology of Mark C. Taylor

      Olthuis, James H.; Robinson, Julie; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1998)