Women & Gender Studies Institute

Emmanuel Levinas and the Politics of Non-Violence

By:  Victoria Tahmasebi-Birgani

Publisher:  University of Toronto Press, 2014

French philosopher and Talmudic commentator Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) has received considerable attention for his influence on philosophical and religious thought. In this book, Victoria Tahmasebi-Birgani provides the first examination of the applicability of Emmanuel Levinas’ work to social and political movements. Investigating his ethics of responsibility and his critique of the Western liberal imagination, Tahmasebi-Birgani advances the moral, political, and philosophical debates on the radical implications of Levinas’ work. Emmanuel Levinas and the Politics of Non-Violence is the first book to closely consider the affinity between Levinas’ ethical vision and Mohandas Gandhi’s radical yet non-violent political struggle. Situating Levinas’ insights within a transnational, transcontinental, and global framework, Tahmasebi-Birgani highlights Levinas’ continued relevance in an age in which violence is so often resorted to in the name of “justice” and “freedom.”

Victoria Tahmasebi-Birgani is an Assistant Professor of Women & Gender Studies at the University of Toronto and in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga.