In a context characterized by the revival of religions, all too often in their most questionable aspects, it is worthwhile to think from the perspective of philosophy of religion which is the structure characteristic of that experience, in order to both elaborate a critique and recuperate its possibilities for a responsible and free relationship with others. Beginning with the short story and film called “Aballay, the fearless man”, I propose to research what Michel de Certeau and Jean Luc Nancy understand as the “essence” of the religious experience: the possibility of holding unto a relationship with unconditional alterity. Unlike the “domesticated” versions of religious experience, this relationship does not exclude violence, but incorporates it, allowing for multiple resignifications, which can be destructive as well as respectful and responsible for that alterity. For this research I will engage first of all the relationship between the desire of the Other and ethical violence, as it can be seen in Aballay᾿s transformation. After that, I will study the subjectivity of whoever is “hostage” of this experience of relationship with the Other. Finally I will engage the issue of the possibility of universalization of this experience, in order to show the tension between the impossibility and need of universalization, which is inherent to every ethical and religious experience.
Keywords: Aballay | Philosophy of Religion | Ethics | Alterity | Subjectivity | Violence.