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On Michael Fagenblat's A Covenant of Creatures

  • Annette Aronowicz (a1)


Michael Fagenblat's A Covenant of Creatures is a bold and powerful book. Given the nuanced nature of its arguments, no sooner did I think I captured his thought than I discovered that Fagenblat might also have made the opposite point. Nonetheless, a central line of argument does run through the book. My task will be to present it and also to challenge it. The best tribute to this fine work is to engage in vigorous debate about its claims.


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1. Fagenblat, Michael, A Covenant of Creatures: Levinas's Philosophy of Judaism, Cultural Memory in the Present (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2010).

2. Levinas, Emmanuel, Nine Talmudic Readings, trans. Aronowicz, Annette (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990), 48.

3. Levinas, Nine Talmudic Readings, 47.

4. Levinas, Emmanuel, Beyond the Verse: Talmudic Readings and Lectures, trans. Mole, Gary D. (London: Athlone Press, 1994), 191.

5. Levinas, Beyond the Verse, 192.

6. Ibid., 192–93.

7. Levinas, Nine Talmudic Readings, 99.

8. Ibid., 98.

9. Ibid., 98, 104.

10. Levinas, Emmanuel, Difficult Freedom: Essays on Judaism, trans. Hand, Seán (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), 137–38.

11. Levinas, Beyond the Verse, 192.

12. Ibid., 193.

13. Levinas, Difficult Freedom, 109.

14. Ibid., 279.

15. Levinas, Nine Talmudic Readings, 78.

16. Ibid., 78.

17. Levinas, Difficult Freedom, 109.

On Michael Fagenblat's A Covenant of Creatures

  • Annette Aronowicz (a1)


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