Levinas and Education : At the Intersection of Faith and Reason book cover
1st Edition

Levinas and Education
At the Intersection of Faith and Reason

ISBN 9780415897976
Published July 29, 2011 by Routledge
314 Pages

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Book Description

This first book-length collection on Levinas and education gathers new texts written especially for this volume by an international group of scholars well known for their work in philosophy, educational theory, and on Levinas. It provides an introduction to some of Levinas's major themes of ethics, justice, hope, hospitality, forgiveness and more, as its contributing authors address some fundamental educational issues such as: what it means to be a teacher; what it means to learn from a teacher; the role of language in the curriculum; literature, ethics, and education; moral education and human relations in schools; ethics of responsibility and philosophical-pedagogical discourse; educational hospitality and interculturalism; unconditional responsibility and education; educating for participatory democratic citizenship; the pedagogy of peace; logic, rationality, and ethics; connecting teaching to spirituality.

Levinas always insisted that his aim was not to provide "a program," and accordingly, it is not the intent of the authors to look in Levinas's texts for a set of guidelines, rules, or precepts to be applied to education. Rather, this study invites educators, and researchers in philosophy and philosophy of education, to a thoughtful and critical reading of Levinas, and to engage with his unique style of analysis and questioning as they uncover with these authors the necessity and the possibility of thinking education anew in terms of ethics, justice, responsibility, hope and faith.

Table of Contents


Denise Egéa-Kuehne


1. Emmanuel Levinas school master and pedagogue

Catherine Chalier and Ami Bouganim

2. Levinas's quest for justice: Of faith and the "possibility of education"
Denise Egéa-Kuehne


3. The Importance of enjoyment and inspiration for learning from a teacher

Clarence W. Joldersma

4. Levinas's language and the language of the curriculum

Paul Standish

5. Emmanuel Levinas, literary engagement, and literature education

Claudia Eppert

6. Other than the Other: Levinas and the educational questioning of infinity

Ian McPherson

7. Teaching our way out when nobody knows the way: A Levinasian response to modern hope

Julian Miles Edgoose

8. Thinking the Other – The other thinking: Remarks on the relevance of the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas for the philosophy of education

Michael Wimmer


9. The Priority of ethics over ontology, the issue of forgiveness and education: Levinas's face-to-face ethics

Marianna Papastephanou

10. Thinking educational ethics with Levinas and Jonas

Eirick Prairat

11. Welcoming and difficult learning: Reading Levinas with education

Sharon Todd

12. Autonomy and heteronomy: Kant and Levinas

Zdenko Kodelja

13. Pedagogy with empty hands: Levinas, education, and the question of being human

Gert J. J. Biesta


14. How hospitable can dwelling be? The folds of spatiality in Levinas

Zelia Gregoriou

15. Justice in the name of the Other: Levinas on rights and responsibility

Ann Chinnery and Heesoon Bai

16. Peace as being taught: The philosophical foundations of a culture of peace

Jeffrey Dudiak

17. Dehiscence: A dispersal of Levinas in the South Pacific

Betsan Martin

18. Ethical obligation and avoiding self-sacrifice in caring for the Other: Reflections on Levinas

Jim Garrison


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Denise Egéa-Kuehne is Professor of Education and Director of the French Education Project for Research and Teacher Education in the Department of Educational Theory, Policy and Practice at Louisiana State University. Her work includes Derrida & Education (co-edited with Gert J.J. Biesta, Routledge, 2001), and Key Critical Thinkers in Education: Derrida (forthcoming with Sense Publishers).


" As a whole, I found that the book raised significant questions for Levinas’s philosophy and those who comment on it. Additionally, it provides a valuable resource for philosophers of education who might not have considered turning to Levinas to deepen their own reflections on teaching and learning. Regardless of one’s position on Levinas’s project, all of the essays presented challenges, questions, and insights worthy of consideration.--Studies in Philosophy and Education (2009), 28: 375-381