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Responsibility, God and Society. Theological Ethics in Dialogue
Festschrift Roger Burggraeve


Editors:  De Tavernier J., Selling J.A., Verstraeten J., Schotsmans P.

Year: 2008
ISBN: 978-90-429-2119-1
Pages: XLVI-413 p.
Price: 75 EURO

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A generation of students at the Faculty of Theology of the K.U.Leuven have been introduced by Roger Burggraeve to the thoughts of Emmanuel Levinas (1905-1995). Levinas has been (and still is) for him a true "master in thinking". For Levinas responsibility is heteronymous because it does not start from the "I" but from the epiphany of the other as the face, appealing to me not "to kill" but to promote him/her. In and through the appeal of the face, the difference between the other and me - expressed in the irreducible alterity of the other - is, ethically speaking, the appeal to the highest "non-indifference": proximity without absorption. As Levinas' thinking carries on obvious Jewish-Talmudic imprint, Burggraeve was interested as to how the concept of responsibility can be connected to a biblically inspired ethic. In which way can the Levinasian view on responsibility enhance a Christian anthropology, and in particular that one articulated by Louvain personalism, and in its turn inspired by a Christian anthropology, so that it benefits from uniquely Christian accents? In this Festschrift for Roger Burggraeve, authors explore the theme of "Responsibility, God and Society" in order to answer two questions. What does Levinas' ethic of responsibility have to offer Christian theology? And vice-versa, what can Christian theology offer to contemporary ethical thought on personal, relational and societal responsibility.

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