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Market and ThoughtMeditations on the Political and Biopolitical$
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Brett Levinson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780823223848

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823223848.001.0001

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Levinas and Civil/Human Liberties after September 11

Levinas and Civil/Human Liberties after September 11

What's God Got to Do with It?

(p.100) 5. Levinas and Civil/Human Liberties after September 11
Market and Thought

Brett Levinson

Fordham University Press

This chapter addresses the questions of civil and human liberties after September 11 through a study of Emmanuel Levinas. After September 11, civil rights lost its footing as a political instrument, yielding to civil liberties. And human rights, a monitor of international rights, gave ground to the “right to security against terrorism” regardless of human rights. Opposed to politics, Levinas's ethics nonetheless is a saying of God. God's gift to the people is therefore the potential to respond and to act. The chapter argues that this is Levinas's position: there is no Good, no event, no encounter, no human or civil rights without God. Those who say otherwise are, for Levinas, not without religion but, precisely, too religious, too moralistic, too political, and all too human besides.

Keywords:   September 11, Levinas, revelation, human liberty, human rights, ethics, law

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