The State and the Jews: Reflections on Difficult Freedom

This essay examines the contrast between two conceptions of the universal, one represented by the modern State and the other by the Jewish people. In order to do so, it returns to the collection of essays on Judaism Levinas wrote in the approximately two decades after the Second World War, Difficult Freedom. Its aim is to focus specifically on the political dimension within this collection and then to step back and reflect on how his way of speaking of the political appears to us a full generation later. As is well known, Levinas's approach to the political has a way of escaping that realm, while nonetheless remaining relevant to it. This is what we shall try to capture and to evaluate.
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