Skip to content
BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access July 19, 2019

Transforming Representation: Jacques Derrida and the End of Christianity

  • Martin Koci EMAIL logo
From the journal Open Theology


The central question of this paper revolves around the problem of representation. Following Jacques Derrida and his critique of representation, this paper will interconnect two, at first sight distinct, topics: Christianity and the world of media. For Derrida, Christianity stands behind our common understanding of representation, whereas the media are the major driving force of any representation today. The central argument of this paper is to unfold this link between Christianity and representation and thus to elaborate on the idea of representation in relation to the end of Christianity announced by Derrida. Firstly, I will review Derrida’s account on the logic of representation. Derrida deems Christianity to be responsible for the logic of representation discernible in today’s media world and offers a devastating critique of the concept. Secondly, I will contextualize Derrida’s approach by pointing out the tension between the modern and postmodern perspectives on representation. Thirdly, I will return to a close reading of Derrida. Fourthly, I will offer a critique of Derrida’s critique and will look further at the possible meanings of ‘the end of Christianity.’


Alvis, Jason. “Phenomenology’s Rejects: Religion after Derrida’s Denegations.” Open Theology 3 (2017): 590-599.10.1515/opth-2017-0045Search in Google Scholar

Appel, Kurt and Carl Raschke (eds). “Crisis of Representation.” In International Journal for Religion and Transformation 4:2 (2018): 1-343.Search in Google Scholar

Bystricky, Jiri. “Techno-imagination and Implicit Knowledge.” In Design, User Experience, and Usability. Design Philosophy, Methods, and Tools, edited by Aaron Marcus, 22-28. Berlin: Springer, 2013.10.1007/978-3-642-39229-0_3Search in Google Scholar

Bystricky, Jiri. Mediální moderna: Studie k soudobým formám de-abstrakce a mediality. Červený Kostelec: Pavel Mervart, 2014.Search in Google Scholar

Derrida, Jacques. Speech and Phenomena and Other Essays on Husserl’s Theory of Signs. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1973.Search in Google Scholar

Derrida, Jacques. “Above All, No Journalists!” In Religion and Media, edited by Hent de Vries, Samuel Weber, 56-93. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001.10.1515/9781503617933-006Search in Google Scholar

Derrida, Jacques. “Faith and Knowledge.” In Acts of Religion, edited by Gil Anidjar, 40-101. New York: Routledge, 2002.Search in Google Scholar

Deuze, Mark. Media Life. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012.Search in Google Scholar

Groß, Engelbert. “Zeichen der Zeit im Abendmahlsaal.” In Wir teilen diesen Traum: Theologinnen und Theologien aus aler Welt argumentieren Pro Pope Francis, edited by Paul M. Zulehner, Tomáš Halík. Ostfildern: Patmos Verlag, 2019.Search in Google Scholar

Halík, Tomáš. Patience with God: The Story of Zacchaeus Continuing in Us. New York: Doubleday, 2009.Search in Google Scholar

Heidegger, Martin. “The Age of the World Picture.” In Off the Beaten Track, 57-85. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.Search in Google Scholar

Hobson, Marian. “Derrida and Representation: Mimesis, Presentation, and Representation.” In Jacques Derrida and the Humanities: A Critical Reader, edited by Tom Cohen, 132-151. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.Search in Google Scholar

Horner, Robyn. “À Saint Jacques.” In The Postmodern Saints of France: Refiguring ‘the Holy’ in Contemporary French Philosophy, edited by Colby Dickinson, 95-108. London: Bloomsbury, 2013.Search in Google Scholar

Lehmann, Sandra. “Becoming Real in an Age of Shameless Lies.” International Journal for Religion and Transformation 4:2 (2018): 332-343.10.14220/23642807-00402017Search in Google Scholar

Lyotard, Jean-François. The Differend: Phrases in Dispute. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988.Search in Google Scholar

Manoussakis, John P. “Revelation according to Jacques Derrida.” In Derrida and Religion: Other Testaments, edited by Yvonne Sherwood and Kevin Hart, 309-324. New York: Routledge, 2005.Search in Google Scholar

McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extension of Man. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994.Search in Google Scholar

Naas, Michael. Miracle and Machine: Jacques Derrida and the Two Sources of Religion, Science and the Media. New York: Fordham University Press, 2012.10.5422/fordham/9780823239979.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Vattimo, Gianni. The Transparent Society. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1992.Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2019-03-15
Accepted: 2019-06-12
Published Online: 2019-07-19

© 2019 Martin Koci, published De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License.

Downloaded on 6.6.2023 from
Scroll to top button