Is There a Warrant for Levinas's Talmudic Readings?

Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 14 (1-2):153-173 (2006)
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Levinas's Talmudic readings have played an important role in defending the claim that the discipline of modern Jewish philosophy cannot be reduced to a list of assimilationist thinkers. This article argues that this claim is defendable, but only if the premise of the claim ceases to be the content of Levinas's Talmudic readings: "The Temptation of Temptation" wrongly takes its sugya as representative of Judaism as a whole, the differing mathematical calculations between Levinas and the sugya he treats in "The Pact" suggest that the Talmud assumes a Rousseauian amour-propre , and "And God Created Woman" implies that Jewish ethics is not opposed to Jews' assimilation. I instead suggest that Levinas's Talmudic readings serve to promote the fecundity of Judaism; it is only through such "bad" readings that historical determinism can be conquered, and a messianic future becomes possible



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Citations of this work

Levinas on the Social: Guilt and the City.Annabel Herzog - 2015 - Theory, Culture and Society 32 (4):27-43.
Emmanuel Levinas and the New Science of Judaism.Michael Sohn - 2013 - Journal of Religious Ethics 41 (4):626-642.

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Vom Nutzen und Nachteil der Historie für das Leben.Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche - 1984 - [Zürich]: Diogenes. Edited by Michael Landmann.

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