American Academy of Religion edition:2008 Annual Meeting location:Chicago, IL USA date:1-3 November 2008
This paper seeks to examine how a specifically Christian theological position can best benefit from the sustained discussion around which these two prominent contemporary thinkers seem to be circulating. Though both thinkers directly acknowledge various aspects of Jewish philosophical thought as influential upon their own, it often seems to have an indirect relevance upon the study of theology proper. In a time when it has become necessary to address the vicissitudes of political theology, a return to the roots of modern Jewish thinking within the work of both authors can only serve to illuminate the conditions for theological thinking within the postmodern, philosophical ‘turn to religion’. In this precise sense, this paper’s comparative examination is at once a means to demonstrate the direct relatedness of their work to these contemporary lines of thought and also a manner in which to highlight the unpaid debt to Levinas in both thinkers’ works.