Levinas and maimonides: From metaphysics to ethical negative theology

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After an initially sympathetic reading of Maimonides, Levinas develops an ambivalent attitude toward the Great Eagle, whom he views as a champion of intellectualist Judaism. Nevertheless, insights from the early engagement with Maimonides are carried forth into the central claims of Totality and Infinity regarding freedom, creation, particularity and transcendence. Levinas' arguments are directed at Heidegger but can also be seen as a phenomenological repetition of the medieval dispute about the eternity of the world. Later, Levinas continues this engagement with Maimonides by transforming the latter's negative theology into what I call ethical negative theology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-147
Number of pages53
JournalJournal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes

RAMBI publications

  • Maimonides, Moses -- 1135-1204 -- Criticism and interpretation
  • Lévinas, Emmanuel


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