Dr Tamra Wright is Director of Academic Studies and Educator Development at the London School of Jewish Studies and a visiting lecturer at King’s College London. She is the author of The Twilight of Jewish Philosophy: Emmanuel Levinas’s Ethical Hermeneutics (Routledge 1999) and articles on contemporary Jewish thought, and co-editor of Radical Responsibility: Celebrating the Thought of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (Maggid 2013). t.
Session 1: Encountering the Other: Buber and Levinas
Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas were two of the greatest Jewish thinkers of the 20th century; each had a major impact on both Jewish thought and general philosophy. Focusing on Buber’s I and Thou, and on Levinas’s Totality and Infinity, we will compare their different ways of understanding the self-other relationship, and explore the implications for Judaism and for everyday life with others. No previous experience of philosophy required.
Session 2: ‘”Loving the Torah More than God”: Emmanuel Levinas’s Response to the Shoah’
Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) was one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. In addition to developing a highly original ethical philosophy, Levinas published a number of books and essays on Judaism, including commentaries on Talmudic texts. We will explore the development of his response to the Holocaust, focusing on the pivotal essay ‘Loving the Torah More than God’. No prior knowledge of philosophy is required for this session.