The Motif of the Irreparable: Potentiality, Contingency, and Redemption in Agamben's Theology

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The work of Giorgio Agamben relies heavily on two rather opaque notions: the messianic and the irreparable. This essay is devoted to an analysis of the latter. After surveying the existing literature, I take my cue from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's prison letters and prepare the way for my own analysis of Agamben's irreparable. In the final part of the essay, I compare the irreparable with Agamben's use of Benjamin's thought of something unforgettable. I understand the role of the irreparable in this light, since, for Agamben, it means the chance of something given up by language, something given up altogether, and as such serves as entry to the paradigmatic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-691
Number of pages13
JournalHeythrop Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

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