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Jewish Theology and World Religions$
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Alon Goshen-Gottstein and Eugene Korn

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764098

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764098.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 04 August 2021

The Violence of the Neutral in Interfaith Relations

The Violence of the Neutral in Interfaith Relations

(p.149) Six The Violence of the Neutral in Interfaith Relations
Jewish Theology and World Religions

Meir Sendor

Liverpool University Press

This chapter analyses the common and unfortunate trend in interfaith dialogue of ‘neutralizing’ the Other. In an attempt to find commonality, neutralization introduces syncretism and relativism into interfaith discourse. Worse still, it does violence to the unique character of each religion and its practitioners who participate in the dialogue. According to Emmanuel Levinas, to proceed in this way is to doom the possibility of real relationship from the start and to fall prey to the most insidious and destructive habit of Western thought: the deception of the Neutral that derives from the tyranny of the Same. Meanwhile, Jacques Derrida repeatedly explored the nature of hospitality at length, employing it as a paradigm for the dynamics of interfaith relations. Finally, Paul Ricoeur's notion of the conscience, of the reciprocity of Otherness, of the response within responsibility, contributes an essential element to the groundwork for an authentic relationship outlined by Levinas and Derrida.

Keywords:   interfaith relations, neutralization, Emmanuel Levinas, Jacques Derrida, hospitality, Paul Ricoeur, conscience, reciprocity, responsibility, Otherness

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