Massimo Recalcati
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Il gesto di Caino

“Cain’s act is without mercy: he kills his brother by spilling his blood on the earth. It leaves no hope, does not allow for dialogue, does not retard the heinous violence of hatred. It is from this gesture that human history begins. We know that love of neighbor is the last word and the most fundamental word to which the biblical logos arrives. But it was not its first word. It comes after the act of Cain. Might we think that love of neighbor is a response to this tremendous gesture? Could we think that love of neighbor can only be achieved by necessarily going through Cain’s destructive gesture? What is certain is that in the biblical narrative, love of neighbor comes after the original experience of hatred.”