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Chapter 3 argues that the problem of displacement (wherein differences are seen in competitive, zero-sum terms) is uniquely conceptualized in the late work of feminist philosopher of Grace Jantzen. By critically extending key concepts from Jantzen’s partly posthumous trilogy Death and the Displacement of Beauty (which argues that the cultural habitus of the west is founded on an obsession with death and mortality that violently displaces beauty and natality), Chapter 3 shows resonances and dissonances between the works of Jacques Derrida, Mennonite philosophical theologians Peter Blum and Chris Huebner, and Jantzen, while focusing on how her critique of violence is accompanied by a critique of displacement that identifies antagonistic terms without making them normative.

In: Ontologies of Violence
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The conclusion recapitulates and extends the argument of the book by surveying recent works on violence by Judith Butler, Achille Mmembe, Andreas Malm, Elsa Dorlin, Françoise Vergès, Malcom Ferdinand, and Denise Ferreira da Silva. The conclusion ends with a brief reflection on violence and public health, and the suggestion that definitions of the term “violence” must become more socially accountable in response to the twin desires to relativize and universalize the term.

In: Ontologies of Violence
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In the 2000s and 2010s philosophically-oriented Christian theologians in the Mennonite pacifist tradition engaged in dialogue with John Milbank’s theology called “Radical Orthodoxy.” Amidst these exchanges, Mennonite philosophical theologians Peter C. Blum and Chris K. Huebner situated their work in relation to an “ontology of violence” that their interlocutor Milbank had attributed to Derrida. Chapter 2 provides a detailed examination of the reception of Derrida by Mennonite pacifists over the course of this debate, and argues that certain forms of mediation (middle ways, third ways) are characteristic of the Anabaptist and Mennonite traditions and their contribution to the critique of violence.

In: Ontologies of Violence
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The Introduction provides an overview of recent theories of violence and outlines the methodology and argument of the book. While surveying approaches to violence in the works of Adriana Cavarero, Gregoire Chamayou, Hannah Arendt, Raymond Williams, Étienne Balibar, and others, the Introduction develops the notion that violence is a diagnostic concept that reflects the value-laden boundaries of both its users and its critics.

In: Ontologies of Violence
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Chapter 1 provides an extended reading of Jacques Derrida’s essay on Emmanuel Lévinas, “Violence and Metaphysics,” where both language and categorization are imbricated in a certain kind of original violence. The second half of the chapter then situates Derrida’s early use of the term “violence” in relation to his work in two later essays (“Force of Law,” and “Before the Law”) in an effort to understand what exactly violence means to Derrida.

In: Ontologies of Violence
Deconstruction, Pacifism, and Displacement
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Ontologies of Violence provides a new paradigm for understanding the concept of violence through comparative interpretations of French philosopher Jacques Derrida, philosophical theologians in the Mennonite pacifist tradition, and Grace M. Jantzen’s feminist philosophy of religion. By drawing out and challenging the remarkably similar priorities shared by its three sources, and by challenging the assumption that differences necessarily lead to displacement, Ontologies of Violence provides a critical theory of violence by treating it as a diagnostic concept that implies the violation of value-laden boundaries.