The Significance of Levinas for Christian Thought

Marco M. Olivetti

in The Quest for Meaning

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780823222773
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235810 | DOI:
The Significance of Levinas for             Christian Thought

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This chapter examines the relevance of Emmanuel Levinas' philosophical views on Christian thought. It mentions the view that Levinas has enriched phenomenology through an ethics and philosophy of religion and suggests that the Levinasian philosophy is a prima philosophia that is at least as radical as the dialectic of Plato, Hegel or Heidegger. Though Levinas has often intimated that the desire for personal salvation can contain a great deal of narcissism, a radical distinction separates the satisfaction of religious needs from the desire that is oriented toward the absolute.

Keywords: Emmanuel Levinas; Christian thought; phenomenology; ethics; philosophy; salvation; desire

Chapter.  5405 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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