Transcendence and salvation in Levinas’s Time and the Other and Totality and Infinity

Levinas Studies 9:53-66 (2014)

Abstract

This short essay argues for a thematic connection between Emmanuel Levinas’s Time and the Other and his Totality and Infinity. Time and the Other directly addresses the problem of salvation, and this concern with salvation can be traced through Totality and Infinity, where it is implicit in Levinas’s conception of desire—so there is a religious concern at the core of that (purportedly) secular work. And this thematic connection suggests a further interpretive question about the role of fecundity in both books, which is addressed in the final section.

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Marc A. Cohen
Seattle University

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