Levinas and Theology

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-11-07
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark

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The thought of Emmanuel Levinas is of increasing importance for those working in the diverse fields of phenomenology and continental philosophy, French studies, Jewish studies, ethics, politics and religious studies. In this book, Nigel Zimmermann gives proper attention to the 'incarnate' aspect of the ‘other' in Levinas' work, providing a theological reading that explores the basic strands of Levinas' thinking regarding the concrete nature of human living. Human communities, in which politics inevitably plays a crucial role, may learn much from the theological shape of Levinas' philosophy. In all his writings, Levinas cannot be understood apart from his roles as a Talmudic commentator and as a radical thinker who suffered personally under the shadow of the Holocaust.

Author Biography

Nigel Zimmermann lectures in theology at the University of Notre Dame Australia. He completed his PhD at the University of Edinburgh and has been a Wingate Scholar since 2011. His previous work has appeared in The Heythrop Journal and The Tablet.

Table of Contents

Part I
1. Introduction
Emmanuel Levinas: a responsible life
Discovering Husserl
Ethics and responsibility

2. Early Levinas and phenomenology
On Husserl and Heidegger
Phenomenology and the French academy
Escaping the bourgeois ‘I'

Part II
3. The Holocaust and history
Re-thinking Western philosophy after the Shoah
Theological voices in the midst of despair
The turn against Heidegger
To be or not to be (ethically speaking)

4. On the invisible God and the visible other
Theological reflections on ‘the face'
The other has a body,
Levinas' incarnate other as a theological resource
Levinasian reflections on the difference between flesh and bodies
Towards a phenomenology of the flesh

5. The other: Icon of difference.
The impression of the other upon me
The other as a paradigm for ethics
Theologies of difference after Levinas

6. Levinas Across the divide
Levinasian perspectives across theological and religious divides
A demanding responsibility, interrupting dialogue
On the en-fleshed subject as the point of unity

Part III
7. To love an-other, Levinas and the theological turn
Levinas' role in the turn
The critics: Dominique Janicaud and the Husserlians
Insisting upon ethics phenomenologically and the use of theological language
Levinas' contemporaries, Jacques Derrida, Paul Ricoeur, Jean-Luc Marion

8. Here come the Levinasians, on theology after Levinas
The emergence of Levinas' influence on contemporary theology
Simon Critchley, Michael Purcell, David Ford
On the grammar of otherness
The other as a gift
Gifting flesh as an incarnate ethics

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