Levinas and the Crisis of Humanism

Levinas and the Crisis of Humanism

Claire Elise Katz
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/20/2012
Format: paper 246 pages
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-00765-0
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Reexamining Emmanuel Levinas’s essays on Jewish education, Claire Elise Katz provides new insights into the importance of education and its potential to transform a democratic society, for Levinas’s larger philosophical project. Katz examines Levinas's “Crisis of Humanism,” which motivated his effort to describe a new ethical subject. Taking into account his multiple influences on social science and the humanities, and his various identities as a Jewish thinker, philosopher, and educator, Katz delves deeply into Levinas’s works to understand the grounding of this ethical subject.

Author Bio

Claire Elise Katz is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies at Texas A&M University. She is author of Levinas, Judaism, and the Feminine (IUP, 2003).


"Claire Elise Katz makes great strides in resolving our current cultural war over the role of religion in the public sphere. By turning to Levinas's writings on education, she shows how religion as a cultural form can engender ethical agents in a way that standard philosophical accounts fail to do." —Martin Kavka, Florida State University

The great achievement of Claire Katz's new book, Levinas and the Crisis of Humanism, is to explain the meaning of Levinas's ethics in a way that makes it relevant for everyday life without either simplifying it or resorting to the paraphrase that is so often the pitfall of Levinas scholarship. . . . Katz's book succeeds in transmitting a deep sense of how Levinas's philosophy is important and relevant in a world in crisis." —Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"[I]n addition to its excellent readings of many texts and its helpful contextualizing of Levinas’s project, Katz’s book is a very good one indeed and one to be highly recommended." —AJS REVIEW

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
1. The Limits of the Humanities
2. Solitary Men
3. The Crisis of Humanism
4. Before Phenomenology
5. The Promise of Jewish Education
6. Teaching, Fecundity, Responsibility
7. Humanism Found