deconstruction


deconstruction
A term used in modern secular literary criticism (e.g. by Jacques Derrida) and borrowed by biblical scholars to indicate the awareness of the limitations that language imposes on thought. Texts do not enjoy definitive meanings. Nor can societies and institutions which validate their use go unquestioned. Without denying the legitimacy of traditional historical criticism to determine the author's intentions, it is therefore argued that readers can examine a text and import their own meaning. There are no insights of permanent value in theology or literature. It is possible for a Western reader to hold that Paul, as a disturber of the Roman peace, got the punishment he deserved. Others classify him as a Christian martyr. The process of deconstruction also uncovers internal contradictions in a text, as in the relationships attributed to Jesus and the Father in the gospel of John; or in Rom. 1–3 and 6–8. The author of Rev. declines at the end to have conclusively determined its meaning (Rev. 22:10).

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • déconstruction — [ dekɔ̃stryksjɔ̃ ] n. f. • v. 1965; de déconstruire ♦ Fait de déconstruire. La déconstruction d un système social, d une notion. ● déconstruction nom féminin Fait de déconstruire quelque chose ; déstructuration. En philosophie, analyse critique d …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • deconstruction — de con*struc tion (d[ e] k[u^]n*str[u^]k sh[u^]n), n. A philosophical theory of criticism (usually of literature or film) that seeks to expose deep seated contradictions in a work by delving below its surface meaning. This method questions the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • deconstruction — [dē΄kənstruk′shən] n. [Fr déconstruction] a method of literary analysis originated in France in the mid 20th cent. and based on a theory that, by the very nature of language and usage, no text can have a fixed, coherent meaning deconstructionist… …   English World dictionary

  • deconstruction — 1973, as a strategy of critical analysis, in translations from French of the works of philosopher Jacques Derrida (b.1930). The word was used in English in a literal sense from 1865 of building and architecture, and in late 1860s sometimes as an… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Deconstruction — For the approach to post modern architecture, see Deconstructivism; for other uses, see Deconstruction (disambiguation). Deconstruction is a term introduced by French philosopher Jacques Derrida in his 1967 book Of Grammatology. Although he… …   Wikipedia

  • deconstruction — deconstructionist, adj., n. deconstructive, adj. /dee keuhn struk sheuhn/, n. a philosophical and critical movement, starting in the 1960s and esp. applied to the study of literature, that questions all traditional assumptions about the ability… …   Universalium

  • Déconstruction — Pour l approche architecturale, voir Déconstructivisme La déconstruction est une méthode, voire une école, de la philosophie contemporaine. Cette pratique d analyse textuelle est employée pour décortiquer de nombreux écrits (philosophie,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • deconstruction — noun Etymology: French déconstruction, from dé de + construction Date: 1973 1. a philosophical or critical method which asserts that meanings, metaphysical constructs, and hierarchical oppositions (as between key terms in a philosophical or… …   New Collegiate Dictionary