By Lévinas, Emmanuel; Lévinas, Emmanuel; Fagenblat, Michael
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Extra resources for A covenant of creatures : Levinas's philosophy of Judaism
The idea of an untranslatable authentic content, however, makes no sense, because beliefs necessarily relate to the world and to the beliefs other people have of the world. 35 Although the metaphor of translation is a traditional and suggestive one, in the end it is misleading, for it suggests that philosophy is one thing and Judaism another. ”36 Nevertheless, the relevant point here is not that Judaism is another name for philosophy but that making the best sense, semantically and morally, out of Jewish texts cannot be done in isolation from the claims of philosophy.
Totality and Infinity and Otherwise than Being are philosophical interpretations of logia entrusted to the Jews. 75 As a hermeneutical philosopher, Levinas loves a Torah addressed to all people, not just to the Jews. “Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded” (Rom. 3:27). It remains only to note that the deconstruction of the predicate Israel within the history of Jewish philosophy is not an accomplishment of apostates alone. Maimonides defended the Mishnaic proposition that “all Israelites have a share in the world to come” by identifying the Israelites in this Mishnah with those individuals—Jews or non-Jews—whose intellects are actualized.
I have simply sought to show that these experiences were present elsewhere. In clear terms, I in no way assert that these experiences could not be found, between the lines, among the Greeks. ”50 This brings us to a position exactly opposed to that voiced by Badiou, Butler, Janicaud, and Rose, for whom the religious element in Levinas’s thought is a fatal flaw. The best way to read the recourse Levinas’s work makes to religion is not in terms of an appeal to the Other as absolutely, dogmatically revealed, as both critics and disciples contend, but in terms of hermeneutical experience: the Other is experienced exegetically.