By Michael Fagenblat
"I am now not a very Jewish thinker," stated Emmanuel Levinas, "I am only a thinker." This booklet argues opposed to the belief, affirmed by way of Levinas himself, that Totality and Infinity and differently Than Being separate philosophy from Judaism. via analyzing Levinas's philosophical works in the course of the prism of Judaic texts and ideas, Michael Fagenblat argues that what Levinas known as "ethics" is as a lot a hermeneutical product wrought from the Judaic background 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 loss of life of epistemology.
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Extra resources for A Covenant of Creatures: Levinas's Philosophy of Judaism (Cultural Memory in the Present)
By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew” (Rom. 7:7, 11:1–2). Paul’s position (at least in Romans), like Levinas’s, is that the radically new event that is upon us fulfills the promise of the covenant of Abraham. The Christusereignis for Paul, like the Anderereignis for Levinas, precipitates those logia entrusted to the Jews into an open address to anyone prepared to listen, harnessing their sense without renouncing Jewish law or custom.
66 Less precise is his view that “Levinas is universalizing Judaism,” since it is more a matter of sharing the ethical sense of the logia of the Jews with anyone than of applying it to everyone without regard for their particular points of view. More perplexing is Putnam’s conclusion: “He [Levinas] isn’t trying to emulate St. ” 67 Perhaps he is not trying to emulate the apostle to the Gentiles, but he is surely doing so. Putnam’s attempt to disanalogize Levinas and Paul only highlights their proximity.
The alternative I am proposing in no way denies the philosophical provenance of Levinas’s thought in interwar France. My claim is not that Levinas injected Judaism into philosophy, as Moyn rightly denies, but that one cannot look at his thought as in any way separating Judaism from philosophy. Levinas’s thought is indeed constructed out of non-Jewish theological and philosophical sources, but this in no way compromises its Judaic character. The dilemma between authenticity and allegory is a false one, based on a misconceived relationship between Judaic thinking and philosophy.
A Covenant of Creatures: Levinas's Philosophy of Judaism (Cultural Memory in the Present) by Michael Fagenblat