The central aim of this collection is to trace the presence of Jewish tradition in contemporary philosophy. This presence is, on the one hand, undeniable, manifesting itself in manifold allusions and influences – on the other hand, difficult to define, rarely referring to openly revealed Judaic sources.
Following the recent tradition of Lévinas and Derrida, this book tentatively refers to this mode of presence in terms of "traces of Judaism" and the contributors grapple with the following questions: What are these traces and how can we track them down? Is there such a thing as "Jewish difference" that truly makes a difference in philosophy? And if so, how can we define it? The additional working hypothesis, accepted by some and challenged by other contributors, is that Jewish thought draws, explicitly or implicitly, on three main concepts of Jewish theology, creation, revelation and redemption. If this is the case, then the specificity of the Jewish contribution to modern philosophy and the theoretical humanities should be found in – sometimes open, sometimes hidden – fidelity to these three categories.
Offering a new understanding of the relationship between philosophy and theology, this book is an important contribution to the fields of Theology, Philosophy and Jewish Studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Alexandria Revisited – Agata Bielik-Robson & Adam Lipszyc 1 Are there Criteria for Defining Jewishness in Jewish Thought? – Kark E. Grozinger 2 Spectres of Abraham – Yvonne Sherwood 3 Another Abraham, Another Sarah: Heinrich Heine’s The Rabbi of Bacherach – Willi Goetschel 4 Levinas, Judaism, Heidegger – Michael Fagenblat 5 To Pass on Justice Infinitely: The Jew and the Greek – Danielle Cohen-Levinas 6 Can Justice Hide Betrayal? Levinas’ Discussion with Freud – Andrzej Leder 7 From Therapy to Redemption: Notes Towards a Messianic Psychoanalysis – Agata Bielik-Robson 8 Justice at the Tip of the Tongue: Antinomies and Possibilities of Messianic Justice in Walter Benjamin’s Work – Adam Lipszyc 9 The Impossible Community: Private Judgements in Blanchot, Levinas and Nancy – William Large 10 “Not Mutually Exclusive”: Derrida and Agamben read Kafka’s 'Before the Law' – Yoav Kenny 11 Profane Redemptions: Messianism at Play in Agamben – Pawel Moscicki 12 Deconstruction Between Judaism and Christianity – Urszula Idziak-Smoczynska 13 Christian Theology, Anti-Liberalism and Modern Jewish Thought – Karen Kilby
Agata Bielik-Robson is Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Nottingham and at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Polish Academy of Science in Warsaw. Her research interests include: modern Jewish thought, psychoanalysis, and philosophy of religion. She is the author of The Saving Lie: Harold Bloom and Deconstruction (2011).
Adam Lipszyc works at the Insitute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Science and at the Franz Kafka University of Muri. His most recent publication is a study of Walter Benjamin’s philosophy of language and justice, entitled Justice on the Tip of the Tongue (2012). He edited the volume Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy, Theology, Politics (2006) and co-edited Abraham Joshua Heschel: Philosophy, Theology and Interreligious Dialogue (2009).