Fields of Research
- The philosophy of Emmanuel Lévinas, with reference to the totality of his writings, both Jewish and philosophical. Because of the great worldwide interest in Lévinas’ philosophy and ethics, my research, which includes philosophical inquiry into both his Jewish writings and his phenomenological writings, has been shown to be an important contribution in the philosophical study of Lévinas at large. In this context, I have been offered many invitations to give lectures and take part in academic forums on “religion and ethics,” phenomenology, and modern Jewish thought.
- “Jewish hermeneutics” – the philosophical significance of hermeneutics in modern Jewish thought. This path of inquiry, which is related to the philosophical study of Emmanuel Lévinas, deals with the ethical meaning of the act of interpretation and the moral responsibility placed upon the interpreter of a text. My book Interpretation as an Ethical Act, which will be published in English translation, is one of the fruits of this endeavor. That study has great importance for the study of religions and for philosophical inquiry into Scriptures. In this context, I am a participant in the “Scriptural Reasoning” forum at Cambridge University and in interreligious forums.
- “Testimony and Responsibility” – a phenomenological study of the witnessing, which contributes to the development a philosophy of “testimony.” This inquiry into testimony opens up into a number of philosophical and ethical deliberations on the meaning of “tradition” and “religious tradition,” the ethical responsibility placed upon the subject in the communication age, the importance of testimony in shaping memory, and the definition of identity after the Holocaust. In this context, I was invited to be a guest lecturer at a plenary session of the American Academy of Religion in 2014.
Secondary Fields of Research
As a spinoff from the main fields of research listed above, I have undertaken research and teaching in two additional fields:
- The close congruence between psychological thought and psychoanalytic research on one hand and the thought world of Jewish philosophy on the other. My aim is to integrate new research methods into the study of Jewish philosophy using the analytical tools of psychoanalysis and to open up new vistas for philosophical writing itself.
- Philosophy of education. I am engaged in philosophical inquiry into the fields of educational thought and an effort to derive theories of education from modern and contemporary philosophical discourse. Those fields include discourse theory in the post-modern age, the teaching of Jewish thought and culture, the teaching of the Holocaust, and the challenges of Jewish identity in this era.