Emmanuel Levinas’s Geopolitics: Overlooked Conversations between Rabbinical and Third World Decolonialisms

in The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
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In this article, I re-evaluate critiques of Levinas’s Eurocentrism by exploring his openness to decolonial theory. First, I survey Levinas’s conceptual confrontation with imperialism, showing that his early Eurocentric work (1930s‐1960s) is revised in his later writing (1970s‐1980s). Second, I explore the contextual reasons that led him to take that path, such as his previously overlooked conversations with the liberationist South American intellectual Enrique Dussel. Finally, I present the case for a revisitation of the current theoretical frameworks of Jewish thought. I explain how Levinas’s encounter with Third World discourses helps to add a needed decolonial layer to contemporary Jewish intercultural conversations.

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