By Michael Fagenblat
"I am now not a very Jewish thinker," acknowledged Emmanuel Levinas, "I am only a thinker." This ebook argues opposed to the assumption, affirmed through Levinas himself, that Totality and Infinity and in a different way Than Being separate philosophy from Judaism. via interpreting Levinas's philosophical works in the course of the prism of Judaic texts and concepts, Michael Fagenblat argues that what Levinas referred to as "ethics" is as a lot a hermeneutical product wrought from the Judaic history as a chain of phenomenological observations. interpreting the Levinas's philosophy of Judaism inside of a Heideggerian and Pauline framework, Fagenblat makes use of biblical, rabbinic, and Maimonidean texts to supply sustained interpretations of the philosopher's paintings. finally he demands a reconsideration of the relation among culture and philosophy, and of the which means of religion after the dying of epistemology.
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Extra resources for A Covenant of Creatures: Levinas's Philosophy of Judaism (Cultural Memory in the Present)
And are we not at this very moment in the process of barring up the exit which our whole essay is attempting, thus encircling our position from all sides? The exceptional words by which the trace of the past and the extravagance of the approach are said—One, God—become terms, rejoin the vocabulary, and are put at the disposal of philosophers instead of unseating philosophical language. Their very explosions are recounted. . Thus signifies the inextricable equivocality woven by language. (OB, 169/ AE, 215) In Levinas’s view, at least as expressed in his later work, his words are not referential in a simple way.
25, 327). As he wryly remarks, to deny the doctrine of creation would be a much easier interpretative feat than denying the notion that God has a physical form, a task he regards himself as having satisfactorily accomplished. “Nor are the gates of figurative interpretation shut in our faces,” he candidly says, so much so that he can freely Levinas’s New Creation entertain the possibility that Judaism, indeed the Torah itself, might deny the doctrine of creation and endorse the belief in the eternity of the world.
39 Parties with opposing values and agendas, such as atheist philosophers and neo-Orthodox Jews, agree to produce a determination of Judaism that authorizes their respective— indeed, antithetical—claims, that Judaism is the authentic custodian of a revelation given without the consent of reason—torah as positivist nomos —whereas philosophy is the exercise of reason liberated from absolute givens, pure logos. ” 40 Partitioning of Judaism and philosophy by modern philosophers, neo-Orthodox Jewish thinkers, and leading commentators on Levinas thus concerns not only the question of how to read Levinas but also the broader issue of how to understand the very idea of Jewish philosophy.
A Covenant of Creatures: Levinas's Philosophy of Judaism (Cultural Memory in the Present) by Michael Fagenblat