By Lévinas, Emmanuel; Lévinas, Emmanuel; Fagenblat, Michael
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Extra resources for A covenant of creatures : Levinas's philosophy of Judaism
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. 77 That reductive reading of Torah as pure law, nomos, has long plagued Christian and philosophical conceptions of the nature of revelation in the Jewish tradition.
Moreover, since this interpretation of Levinas Levinas’s New Creation affirms the religiously determined character of his work by calling it “Jewish,” it leads to an impasse. Levinas’s philosophy could be affirmed only within a tradition of faith and should therefore rightly be rejected by anyone who stands outside that tradition. Kosky is entirely correct to point to a mirroring of these two interpretative camps, the one affirming the religious element of Levinas’s thought as a Judaic alternative to philosophy, the other denouncing it as recourse to revelation, piety, and dogmatism.
Abraham must have taken the three passersby for three Bedouins, for three nomads from the Negev Desert—three Arabs . . [t]he heirs of Abraham—men to whom their ancestor bequeathed a difficult tradition of duties toward the other man. . 63 In other words, “not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his descendants . . 9:6–8). For Levinas, of course, scripture fulfills its promise to the Gentiles not through faith but through obligation.
A covenant of creatures : Levinas's philosophy of Judaism by Lévinas, Emmanuel; Lévinas, Emmanuel; Fagenblat, Michael