By Nancy, Jean-Luc; McKeane, John
During this paintings, Jean-Luc Nancy is going past his past historic and philosophical proposal and attempts to imagine - or not less than crack open a bit to pondering - a stance or bearing that would be compatible to the retreat of God that effects from the self-deconstruction of Christianity.
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Extra resources for Adoration
This design did nothing other than wholly expose man to man. It was a design for man and a desire for the truth of man in a world in which all the certainties—and all the fears—that had been maintained as “gods,” “empires,” and “sacred things” were breaking down. We have not yet truly perceived what is at stake in this. In the ancient world, when a slave was emancipated, one knew who was coming into the picture as a “free man” (I am passing over the details of this “liberation”). When modern man emancipates himself, he does not know who he is causing to come into the picture.
Once more, I am intimately persuaded that we know this. Indeed, I would say that it is, in truth, what forms the background to our knowledge of a “mankind” that has for the first time been thrown openly against its very humanity, complete and lacking any mode of recourse save to itself, here, in its time, in its common lack of inheritance. Real Life Is Elsewhere: Here Our time is the time of a dispropriation. In it, man finds that he has lost his fondness for himself [s’y trouve dépris de lui-même].
Adoration consists in holding onto the nothing—without reason or origin—of the opening. It is the very fact of this holding on. Adoration therefore carries itself with a certain humility. As the tradition knows in various ways, “ex nihilo” also means that God makes something of the most humble, of almost nothing, with no regard for what is powerful and remarkable. Humility, whether it be Jewish (Job), Christian (“for he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden”/“respexit humilitatem ancillae suae”; Luke 1:48), or Muslim (“Islam”: a trusting submission) has nothing to do with humiliation.