From the relative obscurity in which Levinas's work languished until very recently, Emmanuel Levinas must now be judged as one of the most influential figures in contemporary Continental philosophy. There is no better guide than John Lewelyn to lead one through the thickets of Levinas's prose. Bursting with questions, multiple references, cascading citations and multilingual puns and nuances, this book is the compelling record of intellectual obsession. Taking as its guiding thre the theme of genealogy, the book gives a broadly (...) chronological and impressively manageable presentation of the whole sweep of the Levinas's work. Balanced and finely grained, Llewelyn confronts questions of method, Heidegger, phenomenology, the theme of sensibility, religion, enjoyment, feminity, eros, justice and the political. The book reaches a stunning climax in a series of chapters that give a hestitant but tolerant discussion of the question of God in Levinas, the relation to Levinasian ethics to Nietzschean genealogy, and an extraordinary discussion of metaphor that leads into a wholly original analysis of Levinas's poetics and metaphorics. The book concludes with a sensitive reading of the autobiographical epigraphs to Levinas's Otherwise than Being... and a consideration of the Holocaust. (shrink)
"This is a book of scintillating intelligence, a book whose range of references, whose extraordinary ethical sensibility and linguistic creativity, set a standard for philosophy that few if any contemporary thinkers other than Derrida and ...
Pursuing Jacques Derrida's reflections on the possibility of "religion without religion," John Llewelyn makes room for a sense of the religious that does not depend on the religions or traditional notions of God or gods. Beginning with Derrida's statement that it was Kierkegaard to whom he remained most faithful, Llewelyn reads Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Feuerbach, Heidegger, Sartre, Levinas, Deleuze, Marion, as well as Kierkegaard and Derrida, in original and compelling ways. Llewelyn puts religiousness in vital touch with the struggles of (...) the human condition, finding religious space in the margins between the secular and the religions, transcendence and immanence, faith and knowledge, affirmation and despair, lucidity and madness. This provocative and philosophically rich account shows why and where the religious matters. (shrink)
Stay! That is to say, either stay with your decision or stay your hand. Demeure: either remain or delay. Morari or moriri: either life or death. The alternation is also a hyphenation, a connection-disconnection, as with that of Judaeo-Christianity and the ethicoreligious. How are these hyphenations construed in Kierkegaard's divergence from Kant and Hegel and in the responses of Derrida and Levinas to Johannes de silentio's story of what happened and did not happen on Mount Moriah? Perfect duties and imperfect (...) duties fall under the responsibility of absolute duty. If the ethical is externally related to natural life, the life that is internal to the ethical is due to another externality, that of responsibility to the absolute other - or God, if you like. Another alternation. Another hyphenation? Or a dash? And would it be a dash that separates justice from love? And is love ever separate from self-love or from narcissisim? What sort of narcissism is exemplifed in Kierkegaard's search for salvation? Meanwhile Abraham waits, and with him or against him but without demur, so do Isaac, the ram, and a host of hostages, guests, and asylum-seekers, one by one. (shrink)
Based on Merleau-Ponty's description of nature as that on which we ultimately rely, this essay cultivates the thought that this description also fits an idea of God and therefore of Deus sive Natura. Guided by an outline for a phenomenology of climbing, it is argued that what Heidegger calls readiness to hand presupposes readiness-to-foot (Zufussenheit). The latter gives ground for gratitude not only because it gives ground for enjoyment as gratification, but because it also gives ground for joy understood as (...) a grace, grace understood as having its ground in Natura. (shrink)
Based on Merleau-Ponty's description of nature as that on which we ultimately rely, this essay cultivates the thought that this description also fits an idea of God and therefore of _Deus sive Natura_. Guided by an outline for a phenomenology of climbing, it is argued that what Heidegger calls readiness to hand presupposes readiness-to-foot. The latter gives ground for gratitude not only because it gives ground for enjoyment as gratification, but because it also gives ground for joy understood as a (...) grace, grace understood as having its ground in _Natura_. (shrink)
What demands must be met for phenomenology to be the rigorous science Husserl projected? Janicaud complains that some French phenomenologists, while pretending to observe these demands, play fast and loose with them when they apply phenomenology to matters of theology: Derrida, Marion, and Levinas; methodological phenomenology and Henry's phenomenology of the Christian Way. Derrida's deconstructions of the oppositions of immanence and transcendence and of the factual and the transcendental suggest that the rift between him and Henry is not as deep (...) as it must at first seem. Analogical appresentation is a motive of the theological turn. (shrink)
Addressed here are addressing and the address of the here and the there: the direction and indirection of words, whether written or spoken in prayer; but also of pictures, one of them sent to Derrida, one of them an icon presumably destined from God, and a third, the one reproduced on the cover of The Post Card from Socrates to Freud and Beyond, that attends to the difficulty of locating the threshold between the to and the from, perhaps a secular (...) version of the problem of grace—unless that is not a problem but an aporia, wherever the threshold between these has its place. The chance of oversight, επισκoπη, is addressed, and the words Derrida addressed to his friends from the grave. (shrink)