The Topo-nomological Discourse in Judeo-Christian Culture: Religious Loopholes and the Practice of the Other

Dragoș BUCUR


This paper aims to identify a topo-nomologial principle (as described by Jacques Derrida concerning the concept of the archive) at the level of discourse within the Judeo-Christian culture regarding the practices and customs that are either imposed or forbidden by this type of discourse. The analysis attempts to describe the way in which a topo-nomological system of discourse is constructed in Judaism referring to the concept of performative scripturality (performativen schriftlichkeit) defined by Jan Assmann. The ways in which a topo-nomological discourse is transmitted from Judaism to Christianity and secular Western culture will also be investigated. The goal of the paper is to explore, through the lens of critical theory, the relation between a subject and the topo-nomological discourse to which it relays, as depicted in Jewish themed movies (Fiddler on the Roof) or Christian ones (My Night at Maud`s), but also regarding a general analysis of the so-called religious loopholes among cultural practices that are theorized by Slavoj Žižek as symptomatic for contemporary thought. The paper also investigates the relation between Judeo-Christian Western culture and foreign religious practices within a comparison of circumcision with excision, starting from an essay written by Claude Lévi-Strauss in 1989 after the banning of ritual excision in France.

Keywords: topo-nomological, religious practices, religious loopholes, alterity, circumcision, excision, Judaism

DOI: 10.24193/ekphrasis.19.10