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Levinas's Agapeistic Metaphysics of Morals: Absolute Passivity and the Other as Eschatological Hierophany

John J. Davenport
The Journal of Religious Ethics
Vol. 26, No. 2 (Fall, 1998), pp. 331-366
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40008665
Page Count: 36
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Levinas's Agapeistic Metaphysics of Morals: Absolute Passivity and the Other as Eschatological Hierophany
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Abstract

This article evaluates Emmanuel Levinas's novel "ethical metaphysics" of interpersonal relations from a religious perspective. Levinas presents a unique version of agape ethics that can be evaluated in terms of a number of the dilemmas that have traditionally attended Christian discussions of neighbor-love. Because Levinas's analysis makes our responsibility for other persons depend on their eschatological significance, it has the same problems that hamper all theories of neighbor-love that lack a sufficient role for reciprocity.

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