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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article provides a thorough account of Emmanuel Levinas’s remarks over the course of his career on Christianity, a topic that uniquely binds the biographical and theoretical elements of his thought. The character of Levinas’s own Judaism and the unique features of his philosophy are more clearly presented as a result of his lifelong discussion with the dominant religion of Europe. The article highlights the elements of Christianity that Levinas found praiseworthy—the moral teachings of the Sermon on the Mount and the Final Judgment scene in Matthew 25 especially—and those aspects that caused him profound concern—its penchant for drama, its cultic enshrinement of tribe and place, and worst of all, its cultural (thought not always individual) complicity in the Shoah.

Keywords: Levinas, Judaism, Christianity, Judeo-Christian, Shoah, kenosis, proximity

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