The Cambridge Companion to Levinas

Emmanuel Levinas is now widely recognised alongside Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Sartre as one of the most important Continental philosophers of the twentieth century. His abiding concern was the primacy of the ethical relation to the other person and his central thesis was that ethics is first philosophy. His work has also had a profound impact on a number of fields outside philosophy such as theology, Jewish studies, literature and cultural theory, psychotherapy, sociology, political theory, international relations theory and critical legal theory. This volume contains overviews of Levinas’s contribution in a number of fields, and includes detailed discussions of his early and late work, his relation to Judaism and talmudic commentary, and his contributions to aesthetics and the philosophy of religion.

• Makes Levinas accessible to the general reader • Emphasises the interdisciplinary significance of Levinas’s work • Includes a detailed chronology and introduction to the major concepts of Levinas’s work


Emmanuel Levinas: a disparate inventory Simon Critchley; 1. Introduction Simon Critchley; 2. Levinas and Judaism Hilary Putnam; 3. Levinas and the face of the other Bernhard Waldenfels; 4. Levinas’s critique of Husserl Rudolf Bernet; 5. Levinas and the Talmud Catherine Chalier; 6. Levinas and language John Llewelyn; 7. Levinas, feminism and the feminine Stella Sandford; 8. Sincerity and the end of theodicy: three remarks on Levinas and Kant Paul Davies; 9. Language and alterity in the thought of Levinas Edith Wyschograd; 10. The concepts of art and poetry in Emmanuel Levinas’s writings Gerald Bruns; 11. What is the question to which ‘substitution’ is the answer? Robert Bernasconi; 12. Evil and the temptation of theodicy Richard J. Bernstein.


‘… a provocative and engaging series of essays that serve as [an] introduction … and as … points of departure … it is a worthwhile addition to any contemplation on the variety of topics Emmanuel Levinas addressed during his lifetime.’ – Philosophical Writings

‘the editors … provide an excellent overview of Levinas’s life and work …’ – International Journal for Philosophy of Religion

\'Critchley\'s introduction wil now be the standard introductory essay to Levinas\'s thought, and is accessible to advanced undergraduates.\' – Religious Studies Review