Journal of Religious Ethics 24 (2):261-284 (1996)

This essay interprets the implications of Levinas's idea of a pre-philosophical ethics for the discourses of philosophy and theology, and it suggests that his work pushes philosophy and theology, and the ethics they bear, beyond the modern division of theory and practice. This view defines the ethical according to a rhythm of ontological interpretation of human action and sheer meontological responsiveness between acting persons. This rhythm becomes discernible in a creative form of moral praxis uniting philosophy, theology, and traditional ethics before an event to which the three forms of reasoning can give witness, but which they cannot comprehend. A Levinasian ethics requires this movement of thought and potentially reshapes moral discourse in response.
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