Emmanuel by Donald Wallenfang
Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) is perhaps one of the best-kept philosophical secrets of recent times. By locating ethics as first philosophy, based on the call of the other, Levinas has revolutionized the Western philosophical tradition. In effect, the perennial priority of the self is displaced by the uncanny urgency of the other. Emmanuel: Levinas and Variations on God with Us gives the reader an introduction to the life and work of this humble philosophical genius. Several applications are made of Levinas’s insights: interreligious dialogue, analytic versus continental philosophy, law and freedom, maternity, childhood, hermeneutics, and ethical contemplation. Most especially, Levinas is brought into lively conversation with Jean-Luc Marion. Levinas’s phenomenology of proclamation is set in confrontation with Marion’s phenomenology of manifestation throughout the book. Erotic love is met with a love filled with responsibilities for the other. Mount Carmel and Mount Zion face one another in a topography of the infinite. Readers will appreciate the variety of themes treated, as well as the dynamic interaction between philosophy and theology. Given the fragmented postmodern milieux of the world today, perhaps the philosophical intuitions of Emmanuel Levinas were prepared “for such a time as this” (Esth 4:14).
Year first published: 2021