The God of the Word and The Divinity of ‘Speech'


  • Wayne Anthony Cristaudo Charles Darwin University


apophatic, speech-thinking, Hegel, Hamann, Rosenzweig, Rosenstock-Huessy



This paper contrasts the apophatic tradition, which has been reinvigorated by the post-structural emphasis upon ‘unsaying,' with the dialogical or speech thinking tradition represented by the Jewish philosopher, Franz Rosenzweig, and his inimical dialogical partner, teacher and friend, Jewish apostate and post-Nietzchean Christian thinker, Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy. I trace the tradition back to Hegel's critique of the dominant metaphysical dualism of his age, while arguing that the key weakness in Hegel's argument  is  his privileging of reason above speech, and that his contemporary J.G. Hamman understanding of the role speech in world-making had already supplied the supplement and direction that would be developed  by Rosenzweig and Rosenstock-Huessy. I argue that although the apophatic accentuates certain dimensions of our experience that are not insignificant, when those dimensions occlude the sociality of religious practice and narrative, reality becomes mystified, as our more mundane reality, which is the very reality we live and die within, is relegated to something secondary and relatively unimportant, in extreme cases a kind of unreality.  

Author Biography

Wayne Anthony Cristaudo, Charles Darwin University

Professor in Politics at CDU, formerly Director of European Studies at Hong Kong.




How to Cite

Cristaudo, W. A. (2013). The God of the Word and The Divinity of ‘Speech’. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 9(2), 154–177. Retrieved from