Messianism’s contribution to political philosophy: peace and war in Levinas’s Totality and Infinity

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Abstract

This article examines the impact of messianic thought on political philosophy in the theory of philosopher Emmanuel Levinas (1906–1995). Levinas’s work enables us to consider the political not only in terms of contemplation of the tension between the political and the ethical and of the ethical limits of politics but as an attempt to create ethical political thought. Discussion of the tension between the political and the ethical intensifies in wartime and in the context of militaristic thinking. At the same time, it lends itself to new meanings of peace. At the heart of this article lies an examination of the role of the political discourse articulated in Levinas’s influential work Totality and Infinity and of the possibility of understanding this discourse in light of the Levinasian reading of the Talmud.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-313
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Volume81
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • Levinas
  • Messianism
  • Peace
  • Talmudic readings

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy

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