Dr Louis Blond
JEWISH RELIGION AND EUROPEAN PHILOSOPHY
Louis Blond is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies, University of Cape Town since 2010. He completed a PhD (2006) at the University of Edinburgh with a dissertation, The Relationship Between Metaphysics and Nihilism in the Work Of Martin Heidegger.
While my teaching focus often encompasses Jewish religion and contemporary political spaces, my research interests are grounded in European philosophy, Critical Theory, Jewish Philosophy and their intersection with Post/Decolonial Theory.
After researching Emmanuel Levinas’s attempt to escape the framework provided by Heidegger’s ontological turn, I have come to a fruitful impasse when engaging a postcolonial critique of Levinas’s ethical landscape. The failure of the ethics of otherness to establish a working social theory has led me to contemporary Critical Theory and its attempt to resurrect and modify Marx’s philosophical anthropology and alienation diagnostic in the search for a socially-embedded emancipatory force. However, when some of these theories are applied to or thought in a racialised society such as South Africa, the assumptions and possibilities of the struggle for recognition and an alienation diagnostic are seriously challenged. I am currently asking, what manner of philosophical anthropology and alienation diagnostic can fruitfully engage postcolonial space without falling into the familiar traps of a Eurocentric project?
‘Levinas, Europe and Others: The Postcolonial Challenge to Alterity,’ Journal of the British Society of Phenomenology: Phenomenology and the Idea of Europe’, Vol. 47, 2016, pp. 260-275 (peer-reviewed)
‘Unlawful Religious? Modern Secular Power and the Legal Reasoning in the JFS Case’, with Prof Peter Danchin, Maryland Journal of International Law, Vol. 29, 2014, pp. 419-80 (peer-reviewed)
‘Translation, Interpretation and Contemporary Jewish Thought,’ Journal for the Study of Religion, Vol. 25 (2) 2012, pp. 89-110 (peer-reviewed)
‘Franz Rosenzweig: Homesickness in Time,’ New German Critique, Fall 2010, No. 111, 2010, pp. 27-58 (peer-reviewed)
‘Levinas, Europe and Others: The Postcolonial Challenge to Alterity,’ in Phenomenology and the Idea of Europe, ed. Francesco Tava (London: Routledge, 2017). (peer-reviewed)
‘Identity, Alterity and Racial Difference in Levinas,’ in Identity and Difference: Contemporary Debates, ed. Rafael Winkler (London: Palgrave, 2016) (peer-reviewed)
Heidegger and Nietzsche: Overcoming Metaphysics (Continuum Studies in Continental Philosophy, 2010)