On the Side of the Angels: Ethics and Post-Holocaust Spirituality

Front Cover
Peeters Publishers, 2002 - Religion - 143 pages
The Holocaust demands a rethinking of spirituality, both human and Christian. Traditional definitions of spirituality that focus on the human capacity for self-transcendence in relation to an ultimate horizon of meaning, whether or not that ultimate horizon is called 'God', are inadequate after the Holocaust to the degree that they make ethical responsibility a secondary consideration. Because the unthinkable has, in fact, happened, a contemporary spirituality must locate ethical responsibility for the other at the heart of human subjectivity and self-transcendence. The extreme suffering of the incarcerated and murdered, as well as the ethical engagement of the rescuers cry out for a newly articulated spirituality that defines self-transcendence primarily as ethical responsibility. This study also contributes to a contemporary discussion situated at the nexus of philosophy and spirituality. This discussion seeks to characterize spirituality by using terms other than the traditional categories of being. Such an approach may reveal the contours and dynamics of a spirituality springing from the ethical consideration of the other. This study defines spirituality as fundamentally self-transcending ethical engagement in which the subject 'enacts' himself or herself into the fullness of his or her humanity. This new perspective stresses ethical engagement over the ontologically-based conceptual categories found in traditional philosophical or theological anthropologies.
 

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Contents

Preface
1
SelfTranscendence Toward a Horizon of Ultimate Meaning
8
Postmodern Diversity?
20
VI
22
Are Otherness and Community Compatible?
27
Ideological versus True Order in History
34
The Meaninglessness of Suffering in Extremity
44
The Primacy of Subjects
51
Current Theories of Rescue
100
The Religious Dimension of Rescue
103
Rescuers Teach The Full Resonance of Civilization
110
Summary
116
Chapter 5
119
The Other as The Irreducible Point of Departure
120
The Face of the Other and The Trace of God
125
Christian Faith Good Works and PostHolocaust Spirituality
126

II
57
Proximity Substitution Hostage
69
Is It Spirituality?
80
John Caputos Poetics of Obligation
82
James Olthuiss Ethics of Mutuality
85
Summary
87
Chapter 4
89
The Role of Lived Experience in Levinass Thought
90
Affective SelfTranscendence
95
beyond Dualism and Individualism
128
PostHolocaust Spirituality and a Community of Others
129
Byond Community
132
Ethical Responsibility and the Hands of God
134
a Personal Reflection
138
BIBLIOGRAPHY Books
140
Articles
143
Copyright

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