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The ExorbitantEmmanuel Levinas Between Jews and Christians$
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Kevin Hart and Michael A. Signer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823230150

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823230150.001.0001

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Excess and Desire

Excess and Desire

A Commentary on Totality and Infinity, Section I, Part D

(p.188) Excess and Desire
The Exorbitant

Jeffrey Bloechl

Fordham University Press

Between Levinas and Christianity, the thesis of certain possibilities present already in any human face and not only in the singular face of Jesus Christ must go hand in hand with the idea that God does not explicitly intervene in our affairs and yet somehow does leave each of us bound to one another in a vocation to justice. Where the Christian invokes the gift of Jesus Christ as the way and the means to justice, Levinas calls us to recognize that this gift is given already in human plurality as such. This difference in the domain of ethics, furthermore, cannot be considered apart from an accompanying difference between the conceptions of religious transcendence to be found in, respectively, the restricted messianism of a unique Incarnation and the general messianism of the other person. This cannot be the occasion to entertain the essential complexities of even a simplified Christology. This chapter addresses this second but more profound difference from only one side of the discussion: what sort of God abides in mystery not before and beyond a single and unrepeatable Son, but before and beyond the entire community of children?

Keywords:   Emmanuel Levinas, God, Christianity, Christian theology, messianism, religion

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