Abraham, Isaac, and the toxin: A Kavkan reading of the binding of Isaac

Willard-Kyle, C. (2022) Abraham, Isaac, and the toxin: A Kavkan reading of the binding of Isaac. Religious Studies, (doi: 10.1017/S0034412522000439) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

I argue that the story of God's commanding Abraham to sacrifice Isaac can be read as a variant of Kavka's (1983) Toxin Puzzle. On this reading, Abraham has no reason to kill Isaac, only reason to intend to kill Isaac. On one version of the Kavkan reading, it's impossible for Abraham, thus situated, to form the intention to kill Isaac. This would make the binding an impossible story: I explore the ethical and theological consequences of reading the story in this way. Finally, I suggest that analytic philosophers may have more to contribute to interpretative projects in philosophical theology than generally practised.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Willard-Kyle, Dr Christopher
Authors: Willard-Kyle, C.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Religious Studies
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0034-4125
ISSN (Online):1469-901X
Published Online:24 August 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Author
First Published:First published in Religious Studies 2022
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the publisher

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