Title: L'être entre les lettres. Creation and Passivity in 'And God created Woman"
Authors: Anckaert, Luc
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Springer Academic Publishers
Host Document: Radical Passivity. Rethinking Ethical Agency in Levinas pages:143-154
Conference: Radical Passivity location:Maastricht date:November 2007
Article number: 9
Abstract: The article is a close reading of a Talmudic commentary by Levinas. Its purpose is to deconstruct the concept of creation in order to demonstrate the radical passivity preceding human freedom. In ‘And God Created Woman’ Levinas points to the orthographic issue of the duplication of the yod in ‘vayyitzer’. This issue is radicalized to distinguish two moments in creation. In the first creation out of nothing, humanity is at stake. Creation is the condition in which man appears as totally visible in the eyes of God. This passivity, without refuge, makes ethics possible. This is called the mystery of the human psyche. In the second act of creation, the relation between man and woman is established as the concrete shape of the first creation. Here Levinas deepens responsibility to unconditional responsibility. Being created means being made responsible. The two concepts of creation are sharpened starting from the thinking of Derrida and Nancy. The relation with the alterity of the son is the incarnation of the created responsibility. This aspect is elaborated in dialogue with Kierkegaard’s and Cathérine Chalier’s commentary of the Abraham story. The son teaches by asking the question about the reality of the covenant that registers itself in being created. From the reality of the covenant, the question of creation appears in its ultimate passivity.
ISBN: 978-1-4020-9346-3
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IHb
Appears in Collections:Institute of Philosophy - miscellaneous
Centre for Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy

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