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Open AccessArticle

Prophetic Subjectivity in Later Levinas: Sobering up from One’s Own Identity

Centre for Fundamental Sociology, National Research University Higher School of Economics, 21/4 Staraya Basmannaya, Moscow 105066, Russia
Religions 2019, 10(1), 50;
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 6 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phenomenological Studies of Religious Life)
PDF [290 KB, uploaded 16 January 2019]


This paper explores how Levinas redefines the traditional notion of prophecy, shifting the emphasis from the content of prophecy to the figure of the prophet, thus making prophetic inspiration a key feature of ethical subjectivity. The principal aim of the paper is to analyse the resulting triangular structure involving God and the Other. This structure is inherently unstable because God is incessantly stepping back in kenotic withdrawal. I show how this fundamental instability is reflected in the structure of the phenomenalisation of God’s glory, the structure of obedience to God’s order, and the structure of the authorship of prophecy. The prophetic experience is marked by heterogeneity; it can never be completely appropriated. Responsibility for the Other brings the subject to light as a witness of the glory of the Infinite, but not as the subject of self-identification. View Full-Text
Keywords: Levinas; prophecy; kenosis; identity; Rosenzweig; Kafka Levinas; prophecy; kenosis; identity; Rosenzweig; Kafka
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Yampolskaya, A. Prophetic Subjectivity in Later Levinas: Sobering up from One’s Own Identity. Religions 2019, 10, 50.

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