The constellation subject-women-God in the ethics of Levinas

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dc.contributor.author Wolff, Ernst
dc.date.accessioned 2008-05-30T05:28:27Z
dc.date.available 2008-05-30T05:28:27Z
dc.date.issued 2007
dc.description.abstract Emmanuel Levinas was born one hundred years ago and today his work in philosophy as well as his Talmudic readings enjoys increasing attention in research in philosophy, literature, science of religion, theology and other fields. The aim of my paper is twofold: 1) to indicate the relevance of his works for scholars in the Old Testament and Jewish literature, and 2) to do this by contributing to the theme the relation between gender issues in Levinas and his “God”. My line of argument will consist of the following movements. First the hermeneutic fibre of human existence needs to be described. The totalitarian tendency of human existence will be explained with reference to the philosopher’s earliest works and it will be shown that his life project in philosophy was a quest for an ethics that does not originate in the hermeneutic condition. Secondly, attention will be given to strategies that Levinas adopted in search for an escape from a totalitarian existence. Special attention will be given to the position given to women in this regard. It will be shown why Levinas later abolished this strategic analysis of femininity. Thirdly I shall argue that the role that Levinas intended for women in his thought was later given to his philosophical notion of God. The particularity of this notion will be described by indicating the Jewish (Exodus and Mysticism) and “Greek” (Plato and Heidegger) origins of it. The ethico-political implications of this idea of God will be elaborated on by using Levinas’ central notions of testimony, prophecy and saintliness. en
dc.format.extent 129737 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.identifier.citation Wolff, E 2007, 'The constellation subject-women-God in the ethics of Levinas', Journal for Semitics, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 587-603. [http://www.sasnes.org.za/SASNES_Journal_for_Semitics.htm] en
dc.identifier.issn 1013-8471
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/5659
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Unisa Press en
dc.rights Unisa Press en
dc.subject Talmudic readings en
dc.subject Old Testament en
dc.subject God and female gender en
dc.subject.lcsh Levinas, Emmanuel
dc.subject.lcsh Philosophy, Jewish en
dc.subject.lcsh Bible -- O.T. -- Criticism, interpretation, etc. en
dc.subject.lcsh Jewish literature en
dc.subject.lcsh Femininity of God en
dc.title The constellation subject-women-God in the ethics of Levinas en
dc.type Article en


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