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Trauma and TranscendenceSuffering and the Limits of Theory$
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Eric Boynton and Peter Capretto

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823280261

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823280261.001.0001

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Traumatized by Transcendence: My Other’s Keeper

Traumatized by Transcendence: My Other’s Keeper

(p.70) Chapter 3: Traumatized by Transcendence: My Other’s Keeper
Trauma and Transcendence

Donna Orange

Fordham University Press

Tempting as it might seem to relate trauma and transcendence as inviting us to study resiliency or survivorship, a radical ethics takes us elsewhere. With Cain’s contemptuous taunt ringing in our first-world, privileged ears, and with climate scientists warning that we are blindly consuming our way to self-destruction, we must begin to think and respond other-wise. Persons must allow themselves to be traumatized, persecuted, taken hostage by the starvation and homelessness of others. Transcendence in this sense calls out to us like the prophets of old, to care for the widow, the orphan, and the stranger, to take on our responsibility for all. In conversation with Levinas’ insight that we are responsible for all, this chapter illustrates how their radical ethics, and its profound exit from egoism and entitlement, are indispensable for facing up to double challenges of the climate emergency and continuing racial and colonial injustices.

Keywords:   Climate Change, Egoism, Ethics, Levinas, Privilege, Racial Injustice

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