Open main menu

Emmanuel Levinas

French philosopher
Emmanuel Lévinas

Emmanuel Levinas (French pronunciation: [leviˈna, leviˈnas]; 12 January 190625 December 1995) was a French philosopher and Talmudic commentator of Lithuanian Jewish origin.


  • If every pure character in the Old Testament announces the Messiah, if every unworthy person is his torturer and every woman his Mother, does not the Book of Books lose all life with this obsessive theme?
    • On the doctrine of prefiguration.
    • Persons or Figures (1950)
  • To ignore the true God is in fact only half an evil; atheism is worth more than the piety bestowed on mythical gods.
    • A Religion for Adults (1957)
  • The moral consciousness can sustain the mocking gaze of the political man only if the certitude of peace dominates the evidence of war. Such a certitude is not obtained by a simple play of antitheses. The peace of empires issued from war rests on war. It does not restore to the alienated beings their lost identity. For that a primordial and original relation with being is needed.
    • Totality and Infinity (1961)
  • The comprehension of God taken as a participation in his sacred life, an allegedly direct comprehension, is impossible, because participation is a denial of the divine, and because nothing is more direct than the face to face, which is straightforwardness itself.
    • Totality and Infinity (1961)

External linksEdit

Wikipedia has an article about: