God, Death and Time

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This book consists of transcripts from two lecture courses Levinas delivered in 1975-76, his last year at the Sorbonne. They cover some of the most pervasive themes of his thought and were written at a time when he had just published his most important—and difficult—book, Otherwise than Being, or Beyond Essence. Both courses pursue issues related to the question at the heart of Levinas's thought: ethical relation. The Foreword and Afterword place the lectures in the context of his work as a whole, rounding out this unique picture of Levinas the thinker and the teacher.

The lectures are essential to a full understanding of Levinas for three reasons. First, he seeks to explain his thought to an audience of students, with a clarity and an intensity altogether different from his written work. Second, the themes of God, death, and time are not only crucial for Levinas, but they lead him to confront their treatment by the main philosphers of the great continental tradition. Thus his discussions of accounts of death by Heidegger, Hegel, and Bloch place Levinas's thought in a broader context. Third, the basic concepts Levinas employs are those of Otherwise than Being rather than the earlier Totality and Infinity: patience, obsession, substitution, witness, traumatism. There is a growing recognition that the ultimate standing of Levinas as a philosopher may well depend on his assessment of those terms. These lectures offer an excellent introduction to them that shows how they contribute to a wide range of traditional philosophical issues.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Whether or not one agrees with Levinas's unique reading and criticism of Western philosophy and theology, this book must be appreciated for its radical approach to ethics and theology. It deserves careful engagement by all Christian theologians and ehticists whose common intellectual background is the very target of Levinas's criticism."—Theological Studies

"This book serves as a supplement to Levinas's other works. . . . Whether or not on agrees with Levinas's unique reading and criticism of Western philosophy and theology, this book must be appreciated for its radical approach to ethics and theology. It deserves careful engagement by all Christian theologians and ethicists whose common intellectual background is the very target of Levinas's criticism."—Theological Studies

Transcripts of two lecture courses on ethical relations that the 20th- century French philosopher delivered in 1975-76 explore some of the most pervasive themes of his thought, and were written when he had just published his most important and difficult book, . They were first published as in 1993 by Editions Grasset and Fasquelle. They are not indexed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804736664
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Series: Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Translator's Foreword xi
Foreword 1
Part I. Death and Time
Initial Questions--Friday, November 7, 1975 7
What Do We Know of Death?--Friday, November 14, 1975 11
The Death of the Other [D'Autrui] and My Own--Friday, November 21, 1975 16
An Obligatory Passage: Heidegger--Friday, November 28, 1975 22
The Analytic of Dasein--Friday, December 5, 1975 28
Dasein and Death--Friday, December 12, 1975 33
The Death and Totality of Dasein--Friday, December 19, 1975 38
Being-Toward-Death as the Origin of Time--Friday, January 9, 1976 42
Death, Anxiety, and Fear--Friday, January 16, 1976 46
Time Considered on the Basis of Death--Friday, January 23, 1976 50
Inside Heidegger: Bergson--Friday, January 30, 1976 54
The Radical Question: Kant Against Heidegger--Friday, February 6, 1976 57
A Reading of Kant (Continued)--Friday, February 13, 1976 62
How to Think Nothingness?--Friday, February 20, 1976 66
Hegel's Response: The Science of Logic--Friday, February 27, 1976 71
Reading Hegel's Science of Logic (Continued)--Friday, March 5, 1976 76
From the Science of Logic to the Phenomenology--Friday, March 12, 1976 79
Reading Hegel's Phenomenology (Continued)--Friday, March 19, 1976 84
The Scandal of Death: From Hegel to Fink--Friday, April 9, 1976 88
Another Thinking of Death: Starting from Bloch--Friday, April 23, 1976 92
A Reading of Bloch (Continued)--Friday, April 30, 1976 97
A Reading of Bloch: Toward a Conclusion--Friday, May 7, 1976 101
Thinking About Death on the Basis of Time--Friday, May 14, 1976 106
To Conclude: Questioning Again--Friday, May 21, 1976 113
Part II. God and Onto-Theo-Logy
Beginning with Heidegger--Friday, November 7, 1975 121
Being and Meaning--Friday, November 14, 1975 126
Being and World--Friday, November 21, 1975 131
To Think God on the Basis of Ethics--Friday, December 5, 1975 136
The Same and the Other--Friday, December 12, 1975 140
The Subject-Object Correlation--Friday, December 19, 1975 144
The Question of Subjectivity--Friday, January 9, 1976 149
Kant and the Transcendental Ideal--Friday, January 16, 1976 153
Signification as Saying--Friday, January 23, 1976 157
Ethical Subjectivity--Friday, January 30, 1976 160
Transcendence, Idolatry, and Secularization--Friday, February 6, 1976 163
Don Quixote: Bewitchment and Hunger--Friday, February 13, 1976 167
Subjectivity as An-Archy--Friday, February 20, 1976 172
Freedom and Responsibility--Friday, February 27, 1976 176
The Ethical Relationship as a Departure from Ontology--Friday, March 5, 1976 180
The Extra-Ordinary Subjectivity of Responsibility--Friday, March 12, 1976 185
The Sincerity of the Saying--Friday, March 19, 1976 190
Glory of the Infinite and Witnessing--Friday, April 9, 1976 195
Witnessing and Ethics--Friday, April 23, 1976 198
From Consciousness to Prophetism--Friday, April 30, 1976 202
In Praise of Insomnia--Friday, May 7, 1976 207
Outside of Experience: The Cartesian Idea of the Infinite--Friday, May 14, 1976 213
A God "Transcendent to the Point of Absence"--Friday, May 21, 1976 219
Postscript 225
Notes 243
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