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Levinas and Biblical Studies
Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Gary A. Phillips, David Jobling
SemeiaSt 43
Publication Date
September 2003


The philosopher Emmanuel Levinas writes that “each act of listening carries the secret of the text; the voice of Revelation, in precisely the inflection lent by each person’s ear, is necessary for the truth of the Whole.” Levinas’s interpretive insights have already had a profound impact on European thought in the realm of ethics, and hermeneutics. This volume is the first in English to show how his contribution can also transform the ways we ready biblical texts. The essays collected here introduce Levinas to those not familiar with his work and exemplify how his approach to texts illumines new and significant possibilities for reading the Bible afresh.


“Introduction—Facing the Text As Other: Some Implications of Levinas’s Work for Biblical Studies”
—Tamara C. Eskenazi

“On the Jewish Reading of Scriptures”
—Emmanuel Levinas

“The Little Man with the Burned Thighs: Levinas’s Biblical Hermeneutic”
—Annette Aronowicz

“Creation, Chaos, and the Shoah: A Theological Reading of the Il Y A
—Scott Hennessy

“Facing Job”
—Timothy K. Beal

“Eschatology: Levinasian Hints in a Preface”
—Elias Bongmba

“To Love Cain More Than God”
—Jione Havea

“Damages Due to Fire: Levinas, the Bible, and the Holocaust”
—Tod Linafelt

“Constitution and Agency in Light of Some Passages from Ezekiel 1-4: A Re-reading of Levinas”
—Martin C. Srajek

“Love Your Neighbor as an Other: Reflections on Levinas’s Ethics and the Hebrew Bible”
—Tamara C. Eskenazi

“‘And God Created Woman”: Reading the Bible Otherwise”
—Susan E. Shapiro

—Catherine Chalier

Tamara Cohn Eskenazi is Professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, California. Gary A. Phillips is Professor of Religion at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. David Jobling is Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature at St. Andrew’s College, University of Saskatchewan, in Saskatoon.