The Exorbitant: Emmanuel Levinas Between Jews and Christians by Kevin HartThe Exorbitant: Emmanuel Levinas Between Jews and Christians by Kevin Hart

The Exorbitant: Emmanuel Levinas Between Jews and Christians

EditorKevin Hart, Michael A. Signer

Paperback | January 4, 2010

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We are exorbitant, and rightly so, when we cut any link we may have to cosmological powers. Levinas invites us to be exorbitant by distancing ourselves from visions of metaphysics, epistemology, and theology. We begin to listen well to Levinas when we hear him inviting us to break completely with the pagan world in which the gods are simply the highest beings in the cosmos and learn to practice an adult religion in which God is outside cosmology and ontology.
God comes to mind neither in our attempts to think him as the creator of the cosmos nor in moments of ecstasy but in acts of genuine holiness, such as sharing a piece of bread with someone in a time of desperate need. Levinas, in short, enjoins us to be exorbitant in our dealings with one another.

This book asks how the "between" of Levinas's thinking facilitates a dialogue between Jews and Christians. In one sense, Levinas stands exactly between Jews and Christians: ethics, as he conceives it, is a space in which religious traditions can meet. At the same time, his position seems profoundly ambivalent. No one can read a page of his writings without hearing a Jewish voice as well a a philosophical one. Yet his talk of substitution seems to resonate with Christological themes. On occasion, Levinas himself sharply distinguishes Judaism from Christianity--but to what extent can his thinking become the basis for a dialogue between Christians and Jews?

This book, with a stellar cast of contributors, explores these questions, thereby providing a snapshot of the current state of Jewish-Christian dialogue.

Kevin Hart is Edwin B. Kyle Professor of Christian Studies in the Department of ReligiousStudies at the University of Virginia, where he also holds courtesy professorships in theDepartments of English and French. Michael A. Signer was Abrams Professor of Jewish Thought and Culture in the Department of Theology at the University of Notr...
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Title:The Exorbitant: Emmanuel Levinas Between Jews and ChristiansFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pagesPublished:January 4, 2010Publisher:Fordham University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0823230163

ISBN - 13:9780823230167

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsKevin Hart: Introduction: Levinas the ExorbitantLeora Batnitzky: Levinas between German Metaphysics and Christian TheologyRobert Gibbs: The Disincarnation of the Words: The Trace of God in Reading ScriptureElliot R. Wolfson: Secrecy, Modesty, and the Feminine: Kabbalistic Traces in the Thought of LevinasRichard A. Cohen: Against Theology, or "The Devotion of a Theology Without Theodicy": Levinas on ReligionDana Hollander: Is the Other My Neighbor? Reading Levinas Alongside Hermann CohenJeffrey L. Kosky: "Love Strong as Death": Levinas and HeideggerRobyn Horner: On Levinas's Gifts to Christian TheologyMichael Purce.l: The Prevenience and Phenomenality of Grace; or, The Anteriority of the PosteriorEdith Wyschogrod: Prolifigacy, Parsimony, and the Ethics of Expenditure in the Philosophy of LevinasJeffrey Bloechl: Excess and Desires: A Commentary on Totality and Infinity, Section I, Part DJean-Luc Marion: The Care of the Other and SubstitutionPaul Franks: Should Jews and Christians Fear the Gifts of the Greeks? Reflections on Levinas, Translation, and Atheistic TheologyMerold Westphal: Thinking about God and God-Talk with LevinasMichael A. Signer: Words of Peace and Truth: A-Dieu, LevinasNotesContributorsIndex

Editorial Reviews

A first-rate collection of essays on Emmanuel Levinas.