God and the Other

God and the Other

Ethics and Politics after the Theological Turn
J. Aaron Simmons
Distribution: World
Publication date: 04/12/2011
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-35592-8
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The theological turn in French phenomenology has been of great interest to scholars working in contemporary continental thought, but according to J. Aaron Simmons, not enough has been done to bring these debates into conversation with more mainstream philosophy. Building on the work of Kierkegaard, Levinas, Marion, and Derrida, among others, Simmons suggests how continental philosophy of religion can intersect with political philosophy, environmental philosophy, and theories of knowledge. By productively engaging philosophical "God-talk," Simmons proposes a robust model of postmodern religious belief and ethical existence.

Author Bio

J. Aaron Simmons is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Hendrix College. He is editor (with David Wood) of Kierkegaard and Levinas: Ethics, Politics, and Religion (IUP, 2008).


“Combines solid research with thoughtful consideration of the issues, and opens up genuinely creative and integrative thinking. . . . Informative, challenging, and provocative.”
 — Jeffrey Dudiak, Kings University College, Edmonton

“Debates within so-called "continental philosophy" and "analytic philosophy" are far closer to each other than most on either "side" realize. By boldly crossing the continental/analytic divide, J. Aaron Simmons convincingly argues that engagement between the two is not only possible, but necessary. God and the Other is a significant step forward.”
 — Bruce Ellis Benson, Wheaton College

“J. Aaron Simmons has firm command not only of recent work on Levinas and Kierkegaard, but also of a wide range of alternatives in analytic philosophy of religion and political philosophy. More than an exercise in analytic-continental bridge building, Simmons moves continental ethics forward and makes it politically worthwhile.”
 — John Davenport, Fordham University

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations for Kierkegaard and Levinas Texts
Introduction: God... Again--Again... God
1. The Problem: Richard Rorty's Critique of Emmanuel Levinas--or, Why Continental Ethics and Philosophy of Religion Face Political Challenges
Part 1. A Question of Priority--Levinas and Kierkegaard
2. Hearing Divine Commands and Responding to the Call of the Other: A Reading of Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling
3. Bi-directional Relationality: Levinasian Readings of the Akedah and the (Dynamic) Ethical in Kierkegaard
4. An Ontology of Constitutive Responsibility: Kierkegaardian "Transparency" and Levinasian "Exposure"
5. Levinasian Subjectivity and Political Critique
Part 2. Obligation and Transcendence in New Phenomenology
6. Mapping Twists and "Turns": An Introduction to the Current Debate and Suggestions for Moving Forward
7. Reconstructive Separatism: On Phenomenology and Theology
8. Is Continental Philosophy Just Catholicism for Atheists? Critique and Kenosis
Part 3. Intersections and Applications
9. The Religious: Maintaining the Paradox--Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard on Postmodern Christianity
10. The Political: Politics as an Ethico-religious Task--Reconsidering Religion in the Public Square
11. The Epistemological: Between Trust and Hope--Justification in a Deconstructive Democracy
12. The Ethical: Expansive Relationality--Levinas, Community, and Climate Change
13. The Ethico-Political: Following Postmodern Exemplars