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Disturbing boundaries : developing Jewish feminist ethics with Buber, Levinas and Fackenheim

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Disturbing boundaries : developing Jewish feminist ethics with Buber, Levinas and Fackenheim

Butler, Deidre (2004) Disturbing boundaries : developing Jewish feminist ethics with Buber, Levinas and Fackenheim. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

By applying feminist criticism to the thought of Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas and Emil Fackenheim, this project outlines the ways in which the disciplines of modern Jewish philosophy, feminist theory, and Jewish feminist ethics might be enhanced through a critical encounter with each other. This research has three complimentary objectives: First, to disrupt and challenge the disciplinary and discursive boundaries between modern Jewish thought, feminist ethics and Jewish feminism. Second, to develop the methodological and theoretical frameworks necessary to articulate a systematic feminist critique of modern Jewish philosophical thought. Finally, to develop alternative feminist and Jewish feminist ethical models that will fruitfully benefit from a dialogue with modern Jewish thought. The Jewish feminist ethical models proffered here are mutually grounded in Jewish feminist theory and activism, modern Jewish thought, feminist theory and ethics, and Jewish women's historical and contemporary experiences. Each model is voiced as an imperative and is framed as an example of a principle that is derived from the analysis of one thinker's ethics. The development of Jewish feminist ethics of relationship, alterity, and presence are respectively elicited through an interrogation of the thought of Buber, Levinas and Fackenheim. Although each of the three models is a response to a particular thinker, they are self-referential, interdependent and constructive. They are constructive in two senses. First, from a feminist perspective, although there are real problems with each thinker's ethics, there are also significant opportunities to be located in those ethics. Working towards taking the best advantage of those opportunities, the principles suggested here build on common questions and themes that avail themselves of the resources offered by each of the disciplines that participate in this conversation. Second, because these models are organized through an intentional integration of implicated disciplines and experiences, and result from the effort to pinpoint opportunities for the development of Jewish feminist ethical strategies, these responses necessarily move beyond the scope of the original modern Jewish philosophical texts that generate them.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Religion
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Butler, Deidre
Pagination:v, 386 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Religion
Date:2004
Thesis Supervisor(s):Oppenheim, M
ID Code:8310
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:21
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:21
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