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By Eric Sean Nelson, Antje Kapust, Kent Still

At a time of serious and lengthening curiosity within the paintings of Emmanuel Levinas, this quantity attracts readers into what Levinas defined as "philosophy itself"--"a discourse consistently addressed to another." hence the thinker himself offers the thread that runs via those essays on his writings, one guided by means of the significance of the very fact of being addressed--the value of the announcing even more than the acknowledged. The authors, top Levinas students and interpreters from around the globe, discover the philosopher's dating to quite a lot of highbrow traditions, together with theology, philosophy of tradition, Jewish idea, phenomenology, and the heritage of philosophy. in addition they interact Levinas's contribution to ethics, politics, legislations, justice, psychoanalysis and epistemology, between different themes.In their radical singularity, those essays show the inalienable alterity on the center of Levinas's ethics. whilst, every one essay continues to be open to the others, and to the views and positions they recommend. hence the quantity, in its caliber and variety, enacts an real come upon with Levinas's notion, embodying an highbrow ethics by means of advantage of its type. Bringing jointly contributions from philosophy, theology, literary conception, gender experiences, and political thought, this e-book deals a deeper and extra thorough come across with Levinas's ethics than any but written.

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Does not the reading seek to rule out all spontaneity and affect in relation to the divine? Does not the reading draw attention to everything within Judaism, especially around what we call the law, that seems negative and lacking? Here Levinas’s overall project in Difficult Freedom becomes pertinent: to render explicit the “hidden resources” of the Judaic tradition, resources that have been “hidden” to the extent that they have been covered up by the dominant Greco-Christian tradition. Within a hermeneutic of Judaism that I have elsewhere termed “reinscription,”36 Levinas argues 13 S T R A N G E F I R E that perhaps what seems a deficiency is in fact an alternative intelligibility.

Rabbi Aha provides the following speculative dialogue between Abraham and God in which Abraham wonders about God’s indulgence in prevarications. God, according to the rabbi, says, “O Abraham, my covenant will I not profane, And I will establish My covenant with Isaac. When I bade thee, ‘Take now thy son,’ etc. Did I tell thee, Slaughter him? No! ’11 Thou hast taken him up. ” In other words, the rabbi speculates that, for whatever reason, God merely asked Abraham “to take Isaac up,” not to offer him up as a sacrifice.

2 In this essay, I am concerned with the meaning of the epigraph for Difficult Freedom. 3 What is irrefutable is this: the inscription with which Levinas opens his work calls upon us to ask, and gives us to think, what it means to read and interpret. , to read reading. This inscription also suggests something about the modality of interpretation, as a relation to a “word always already past,” as Levinas put it in an interview, “in which transmission and renewal go hand in hand” (IR 275). The Leviticus passage which provoked the interpretive comment belongs to one of the few extended narrative portions in the book of Leviticus, which is primarily comprised of legal material.

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