By Michael Fagenblat
"I am no longer a very Jewish thinker," acknowledged Emmanuel Levinas, "I am only a thinker." This e-book argues opposed to the belief, affirmed through Levinas himself, that Totality and Infinity and differently Than Being separate philosophy from Judaism. by way of studying Levinas's philosophical works during 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 background as a sequence 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 demise of epistemology.
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Extra info for A Covenant of Creatures: Levinas's Philosophy of Judaism (Cultural Memory in the Present)
That the Law has been given is understood by neo-Orthodox Jewish thinkers as a sign of its priority over philosophy, whereas modern philosophers, adopting the same schema, dismiss it as but metaphysical posturing or historico-juridical positivism that carries no philosophical weight and therefore makes no moral claim whatsoever. Unsurprisingly, from the point of view of this Protestant-cum-Jewish tradition the only truly philosophical Jew is “a non-Jewish Jew” such as Spinoza, be he the heretic who prized reason over revelation or the hero who anticipates the solution to the Jewish Question: Jews without Judaism.
But above all one who knew how to receive and feed men. . Abraham must have taken the three passersby for three Bedouins, for three nomads from the Negev Desert—three Arabs . . [t]he heirs of Abraham—men to whom their ancestor bequeathed a difficult tradition of duties toward the other man. . 63 In other words, “not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his descendants . . 9:6–8). For Levinas, of course, scripture fulfills its promise to the Gentiles not through faith but through obligation.
If, as Levinas and Paul think, the purpose of revelation points beyond the observance of the Law, does this not render the Law an obstacle to the fulfillment of the Word? Should the Law not be discarded in light of the new epiphanic event, whether that event is called Christ or the Other? Paul’s views have of course been traditionally understood in just this supersessionist way, as though Paul preaches against the Law as such. ” which Paul rhetorically posed to the Romans,59 the answer is dourly taken from his letter to the Galatians: “For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision” (Gal.
A Covenant of Creatures: Levinas's Philosophy of Judaism (Cultural Memory in the Present) by Michael Fagenblat