By Michael Fagenblat

"I am now not a very Jewish thinker," acknowledged Emmanuel Levinas, "I am only a thinker." This publication argues opposed to the belief, affirmed by means of Levinas himself, that Totality and Infinity and differently Than Being separate philosophy from Judaism. through 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 history as a chain of phenomenological observations. deciphering 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 that 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)

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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. 6:15a). 61 Consider Paul’s own answer, in Romans: “Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much, in every way. For in the first place the Jews were entrusted [episteuthēsan] with the oracles [logia] of God” (3:1–2).

That sort of a picture distorts our perception of Levinas’s work, of much of the history of Jewish thought, and of the very idea of a modern philosophy of Judaism. What Levinas provides, rather, is a philosophy of Judaism without and or between. On the Very Idea of a Philosophy of Judaism: The Heideggerian Debt One might object that this sort of approach is at odds with Levinas’s own views regarding ethics and Judaism. Levinas is one of the few modern philosophers to argue vigorously that ethical judgment is exercised over history and not simply within history.

H]as Levinas preserved in method what he established in content? Has the translation project itself not “sold out” to the “Greek”? The very first question in the debate following Levinas’s commentary on the Septuagint passages cited the other Rabbinic texts comparing that translation to the Golden Calf ! ”23 Gibbs and Batnitzky, like Moyn, raise a crucial issue, not only for the interpretation of Levinas but Levinas’s New Creation  also for the consideration of the very idea of a philosophy of Judaism.

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