Institute for Levinassian Studies
In 2000, Benny Lévy, along with Bernard-Henri Lévy and Alain Finkielkraut, founded the Institut d’Etudes Lévinassiennes (Institute for Levinassian Studies). “What do I expect of the Institute for Levinassian Studies ?» wrote the author of Etre Juif in a text entitled « Levinas and the Greek”, republished in Les Cahiers d’études lévinassiennes in 2005. “That it should be an Institute of guerim tochavim, and Institute for ‘strangening’ the sekhel, the intellect! What does that mean, “strangening the intellect», today? It means a ruthless struggle against the doxa, against public opinion. There is a generalized dictatorship of public opinion, particularly in the form of a political vision of the world; it is enough to be, and one must be, a stranger, foreign to that, to be a part of the very spirit of the Institute for Levinassian Studies! That’s all!”
I believe Bernard-Henri Lévy subscribed to this program and continues to subscribe to it. Of this idea of a place, a language, where Jews of divers origin, torn in their course of existence, can co-exist, disagree, understand one another, misunderstand sometimes, but attempt to preserve the conditions of the sharply contrasting word, he was and remains a partisan.
Several of Bernard-Henri Lévy’s texts, important ones, were conceived and elaborated within the context of the Institute. To name only a few (the list by no means exhaustive): Comment je suis juif (July 2003) ; Jean-Paul Sartre et Benny Lévy (April 2005) ; De Rosenzweig à Lévinas : l’Universel comme question (December 2006) ; and Comment je philosophe (April 2009).
Also published August 11th, 2011
» (Français) 1978, inédit: Bernard-Henri Lévy, retour d'Argentine.
See the article of August 9th, 2011
» (Français) Charles Baudelaire