Scholarly article on topic 'Akedah – Meanings and Interpretations in the Dialogue between Christianity and Judaism'

Akedah – Meanings and Interpretations in the Dialogue between Christianity and Judaism Academic research paper on "Philosophy, ethics and religion"

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Abstract of research paper on Philosophy, ethics and religion, author of scientific article — Ion Cordoneanu

Abstract In this article, I read the meeting between Abraham and Yahweh as an exemplary story about the contradictory nature of faith and freedom which the divinity gave to human beings, when God asked for the sacrifice of Isaac. This story is exemplary because it has a meaning that is grasped at the intersection between misterium tremendum and misterium fascinans. A short reflection on the issues of the interpreters (Philo of Alexandria, Saint Paul, Origen, Gregory of Nazianz and many others) will reflect the Judaism – Christianity dialogue in its richness and diversity, as a fundamental resource of modern thinking reverberated in the texts of Kierkegaard and Levinas.

Academic research paper on topic "Akedah – Meanings and Interpretations in the Dialogue between Christianity and Judaism"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 137 (2014) 198 - 204

SEC-IASR 2013

Akedah - Meanings and Interpretations in the Dialogue between Christianity and Judaism

Ion Cordoneanu*

aDunarea de Jos University of Galati, Domneasca, 111,Galati,Romania

Abstract

In this article, I read the meeting between Abraham and Yahweh as an exemplary story about the contradictory nature of faith and freedom which the divinity gave to human beings, when God asked for the sacrifice of Isaac. This story is exemplary because it has a meaning that is grasped at the intersection between misterium tremendum and misterium fascinans. A short reflection on the issues of the interpreters (Philo of Alexandria, Saint Paul, Origen, Gregory of Nazianz and many others) will reflect the Judaism - Christianity dialogue in its richness and diversity, as a fundamental resource of modern thinking reverberated in the texts of Kierkegaard and Levinas.

© 2014 ElsevierLtd. Thisisanopen access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Sports, Education, Culture-Interdisciplinary Approaches in Scientific Research Conference.

Keywords: akedah, Abraham, Isaac, ethics, hermeneutics, justice;

1. Introduction

Most of the times we tend to search the Greek philosophy or the history of European thought for moments that would express an obscure and enigmatic reality that we call by a syntagm which thus gains a symbolic value and concentrates in itself a fraction of the richness of human thought. One of those syntagm symbolic for a species of paradoxical reflection is the one referring to the answer Socrates gives when Euripides asks him whether he has understood a text belonging to Heraclites: "What I have understood is wonderful. I suppose that what I have not understood is equally good. However, I believe it would take a diver from Delos to explore the w hole" [1]. What might look to a non-initiated like a tongue-in-cheek answer becomes an exemplary metaphor that expresses the need for an exceptional interpretation in order to dig out the carefully hidden thought which conveys something meaningful about man, his condition and the reality he inhabits. Let us remain in the world of the Greeks just to be able to leave one of the archaeological dimensions of European culture and find, within the Hebrew vein, a "story" that accounts for the mysterious nature of the relationship between man and god. The same Greeks know that things

* Ion Cordoneanu. Tel.: +4-072-786-8681 E-mail address: theosisro@yahoo.com

1877-0428 © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Sports, Education, Culture-Interdisciplinary Approaches in Scientific

Research Conference.

doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.07.001

are neither spoken plainly, not totally hidden because they have a meaning. Isn't this one of the sparkles of Moses' meetings with Yahweh, when the mortal sees God's back? Similarly, an exemplary story regarding the contradictory nature of faith and freedom that divinity endowed man with is the encounter between Abraham and Yahweh when the later asks the former to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. It is exemplary because it has a meaning that we grasp at the end when darkness has been pierced and god's words are crystal clear; when the divine power appears in what is not understood or it has an obscure difficult to reach meaning; when misterium tremendum and misterium fascinans identify themselves in the same hypostasis. This is why we are facing an exemplary story when we deal with akedah.

Taking into account the dialogical relation between Judaism and Christianity, a short presentation of the discussion the commentators have developed on this exemplary story is necessary in order to meditate upon the hermeneutic richness and diversity the two faith founding hypostases belonging to these religious traditions have fuelled in the history of thought.

Akeda, also known as Akedat Yitzchak, is the biblical episode (Genesis 22: 1-19) describing the binding of Isaac. In short, God asks Abraham to offer Isaac as a burnt offering on Mount Moriah. After a three-day journey, at the moment of performing the sacrifice, Abraham is stopped by an angel - Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me (Genesis 22: 12) - and, seeing a ram caught in a thicket by its horns, sacrifices it instead of Isaac. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen (Genesis 22: 24). New testamentary additions identify the place with the mountain where Solomon will later build the Temple while other commentators believe that Mount Moriah is identical with Golgotha.

Certainly, the common interpretation of this episode is that God is testing Abraham's faith asking him to sacrifice his only son. Abraham, with or without an anguished heart, abides by the divine will and is eventually rewarded for his faith. However, certain inadvertences related both to the narration and to the general context of tradition have lead to numerous interpretations.

Philo of Alexandria considered akeda as a protest against the pagan practice of sacrificing the first born [2] or any other child in situations of crisis (cf. 2 Kings 3: 27). Forbidden by the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 18: 21) and condemned by the prophets, the custom was practiced nevertheless by the old Israelites under the reigns of kings Ahaz and Manasseh (2 Kings 16: 2-3; 21: 6).

Philo's interpretation is shared by numerous exegetes. However, after with the return from the Babylonian exile and, later on, due to the development of Judaic mysticism and the suspicion, at least intellectually profitable, that the meanings of Torah would really be infinite, the interpretations of akeda have diversified.

2. AkedaWs reflections in the Hellenistic literature

The story of Isaac's binding experienced many embellishments during the late Judaic tradition, many of them concentrating on the merits of the action and on shifting the focus from Abraham to Isaac [3]. The degree in which this tradition influenced the New Testament is still debated. Only a few texts referring to the story of Abraham and Isaac can be dated for sure before the Christian era. They generally highlight the faith that Abraham demonstrated when he was tested. The Book of Judith indicates that fact that God tested not only Abraham, but also Isaac: "Remember what things he did to Abraham, and how he tried Isaac (...). For he hath not tried us in the fire, as he did them, for the examination of their hearts, neither hath he taken vengeance on us: but the Lord doth scourge them that come near unto him, to admonish them" (The Book of Judith 8: 26-27).

The Book of Jubilees (2nd century B.C.), written in Hebrew, claims that the idea of testing Abraham comes from Mastema, the prince of the fallen angels, the same manner in which Satan suggested to tempt Job. One of the Qumran (4Q225) texts (3rd century B.C. - 7th century A.D.) may be the earliest testimony stating that Isaac was a willing victim who encouraged Abraham in his action [4]. This idea is obvious in the late literature (after 70 A.D.) and it is found in the Biblical Antiquities of Pseudo-Philo and Targum Neofiti. In the latter document, Isaac asks Abraham to bind him tight lest he should be able to hit him and make the offering improper. A similar request is supposed to have appeared in a gap from 4Q225, when Isaac talks to Abraham the second time, after the question referring to the animal sacrifice. The preoccupation for Isaac's consent [...] appears neither in the latest allusions to Genesis 22 (Ben Sirah or The Book of Jubilees), nor in the Greek fragment of the epic poem about Jerusalem of Philo, which, as a matter of fact, is unknown [5]

3. Akedah - between ethics and hermeneutics

Modern Judaism and, consequently, the Judaic philosophy in its entirety, medieval and contemporary, are incomprehensible without a perpetual reference to the biblical foundations. The biblical literature insists upon the idea of man's submission to the divine will, of the omnipotence of God the creator of heaven and earth and his providence that affects all creation. But, "during the evolution of Hebrew consciousness, even within the revealed texts, one can notice a more comprising part, dedicated to the moral judgment of the individual" [6].

Specific to the Hebrew intellectual history is the fact that God is not considered a tyrant dictating unintelligible commands for man but, on the contrary, "they speak about a people endowed with ethical and dianoetic qualities" (Hayoun), moral and intellectual, because intelligence and consciousness are considered divine gifts. On the other hand, the divine commandments themselves presuppose a free subject to assume them and abide by them, and "most of these precepts distinguish themselves through a motivation of moral nature, fact which allows for a sort of coordination between the religious law and the ethical one" [7].

In the case of Isaac's binding, we deal with a divine injunction through which God commands an apparently immoral act whose significances and meanings have to be clarified. A series of Jewish thinkers with apologetic tendencies have tried to prove that God wanted to test Abraham. In Maurice-Ruben Hayoun's opinion "such an explanation seriously harms though the divine dignity as it presupposes that God is somehow ignorant and it seems to contradict the dogma of the divine omniscience the Bible is so keen on" [8].

In addition, to confer divinity such cruel features, as trying to measure the faith of a man by the sacrifice of his son, represents an attitude incompatible with an ethical divine nature. When Abraham does not seem to resist God's command of binding Isaac, we see the abnegation of a patriarch who "finds legitimate to plea for others (Sodom and Gomorra), while submitting without saying a word when it comes to offer his own son to God" (Hayoun).

The author of the Intellectual History of Judaism insists upon the preoccupation, specific to Jewish consciousness, for the deep meaning of this divine command, repudiating the naive hypothesis of putting man to a test and the resulting consequences. Thus, the rabbinic tradition develops the real dimension of a dilemma such as the one residing in Akedah and which opts for a different solution: "God (...) wanted to make Abraham know the suffering from love (Issure de-ahava). For it happens that God, in his unfathomable wisdom, may burden people with undeserved sufferings (trials) with the sole purpose of strengthening and purifying them; this way, the love they have for him grows in their hearts" [9].

Although it seems incomprehensible, God's adversity determines the attachment of those who love him. In the divine consciousness, Abraham is "the one who loves Me" - a love that is stronger than death, even the death of his son, Isaac.

In the patristic literature, "Isaac's binding" is a famous episode through its originality, drama and literary beauty, becoming a subject referred to ever since the writings of Saint Apostle Paul who confers a symbolic dimension upon it, Isaac foreshadowing the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus (Hebrews 11: 17-19). Abraham's sacrifice gains in the Christian iconography Eucharistic valences, by virtue of typological interpretation.

Essential for the typological interpretation is the fact that the centre of both the Old, and the New Testament will be taken by Jesus Christ's personality who, consequently, becomes a landmark for the interpretation of the Old Testament as well. Its central thesis is the interpretation of the Old Testament as a foreshadowing of Christianity [10].

Some, such as Origen, Justin the Martyr and Philosopher, advocate just the interpretation of the Old Testament through the New Testament. In the strictly literal interpretation of the Old Testament, the writings do not lead in any way to Jesus' personality, as proved by the specificity of the biblical prophets' messianism of the Old Testame nt who were waiting for a strong, political and historical Messiah to save the Jews from the Roman rule.

The literal interpretation is not contradicted by the typological one; it is only its limits that are showed. The interpretation of the Old Testament according to the coming of Jesus could have gained shape only from the perspective of a Christian author. The goal was to find in the Old Testament the foreshadowing of Christ and the events related to Him, but for this to happen one should have had access to these events first. Therefore, the typological interpretation was a historically determined one.

The Christian apologetics will try to distinguish between allegory and typology. For Justinian, the allegory was just a pagan error or a heresy, as opposed to typology by means of which, taking an event, such as the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, we find its significance through another event, such as the sacrifice of Jesus Christ by His Father, Isaac being a foreshadowing of Messiah. Thus, through the New Testament and the events described in it along with the coming of the Messiah, the Old Testament and the events in it are fulfilled.

The essence of a typological interpretation as far as the Old and the New Testament are concerned resides in seeing that the New Testament holds the key to decipher the texts of the Old Testament.

In the perspective of Christian commentators, one of the themes present in Genesis 22 is the testing of Abraham's faith and the interdiction of human sacrifices as well as the identification of a worship place. According to Saint John Chrysostom, God did not tempt Abraham because He did not know what he would do, but to let those who lived then and those who have come ever since know the love the patriarch had for God and to know that he submitted entirely to the lord's commands [11], and Saint Gregory of Nazianz sees that "Abraham, the great patriarch, makes an unusual sacrifice, an image of the great Sacrifice" [12].

Saint Cyril of Alexandria bushes the interpretation even further, showing that "the two servants that accompany the old man and walk till the third day stand for the two peoples called into slavery by the law, the people of Israel and the people of Judah, who thought that they should follow only the commands of God and Father, like the servants of Abraham, not knowing either the Son through Whom everything exists, or the Father's Heir, Whose beautiful face is worn by little Isaac, in his father's arms" [13].

The number of days of the journey has its special significance: (Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes,

and saw the place afar off). According to Origen, the third day is for Christians the day on which the Resurrection of

Christ is announced, while for Cyril of Alexandria "... the fact that the two servants followed him till the third day and were not allowed to climb to the holly and high land, but were strongly ordered to stay there with the ass, shows that the two peoples (Israel and Judas) followed God till the third time, that is till the end, when Christ came to us" [14].

Clement of Alexandria believes, from a Gnostic point of view, that the first day is the day of seeing the beautiful things, the second day is the day on which the soul wants what is best for it, and on the third day it can distinguish the spiritual ones because the eyes of the mind have been opened by the Teacher who resurrected on the third day (Stromate, V, 73, 2). The same Clement of Alexandria says in The Pedagogue (I, 23, 1) that the wood for Isaac's sacrifice symbolizes the Cross of Jesus, and Melito of Sardis thinks that Isaac's binding foreshadows Jesus' binding before being crucified. The unveiling of Akedah's significances goes as far as bringing into discussion even issues related to Christological disputes. As a result, "The ram is a Pascal figure for Christians. [...] According to some of the Holly Fathers, Isaac's unaccomplished sacrifice foreshadows two consubstantial aspects of Jesus Christ: on the one hand, the divinity (Isaac does not die, remains unmoved, like the Logos), on the other hand, the humanity (the ram will die on the altar just like the human part of Jesus will die on the cross)" [15].

4. Akedah - between ethics and justice

Another key of interpretation for this difficult story is the one developed by authors such as Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas. In Augustine's opinion, the key of understanding akedah is given by the circumstance that the divine authority may make exceptions from its own law according to which humans are not allowed to kill. There are two possibilities to do this. God may grant a general exemption for those in a position of authority in order to protect the members of the community against violent murderers or external aggressors, or He may exempt an individual for a limited time interval. Anyway, when an exception was made, a person may determine someone else's death without being charged with murder [16]. Dues to the fact that God make an exception from the command "Thou shalt not kill" when ordering Isaac's sacrifice, Abraham does not break God's command. Augustine's solution proved to be influential in the late Middle Ages and adopted by theologians such as Bernard de Clairvaux.

Thomas' interpretation is slightly more nuanced. In his opinion, the intention of every lawmaker is focused firstly on the common good and secondly on the order of justice and virtue through which the common good is achieved and preserved. The percepts incorporating these intentions, such as "Thou shalt do justice", are inviolable. Others admit exceptions when their violation rather serves than affects the order of justice or the common good. What holds true for lawmakers in general holds true for the divine lawmaker himself as well. God's legislative intentions are directly expressed in the Decalogue. Each of us is a member of God's community whose magistrate is Him and whom the common good depends on. Commandments such as "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me" and others lead directly to this common good. Commandments such as "Thou shalt not bear false witness" or "Thou shalt not unlawfully kill someone" express the order of justice that must be abide by among humans and according to which nobody can suffer anything unjustified. God's intention, that everything is set right by Him, as the one representing the ultimate common good, is inviolable. But the particular divine percepts, such as the ritual rules of the temple, can be annulled when this serves God's primary inviolable intentions [17].

5. From Kierkegaard to Levinas

Fear and Trembling is dominated by Abraham's figure, considered "the father of faith", forefather of Messiah, model of obedience and incurrence of a relationship with an almighty, eternal God, the master of heaven and earth, the rightful judge of peoples and mankind, a wise, kind, merciful and immaculate being. The story of binding Isaac becomes for Kierkegaard an opportunity to build a dialectic of faith consisting of the simultaneous execution by the interiority of two contradictory movements: the infinite resignation, by giving up the world, and the movement of faith, by means of which the world is entirely regained. The analogy with Abraham is apparent: willing to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham is resigned as far as this world is concerned, becoming heirless, but being convinced every second that God will give him back his son.

From an ethical point of view, Kierkegaard does not claim that Abraham must be excluded from the ethical universe. He loves his son but has to suspend his moral duty as a father in order to fulfill the will of an instance superior to ethics. Kierkegaard himself formulates the complexity of this theme when, before formulating and analyzing each problem (Is there a suspension of the ethics?, Is there an absolute duty towards God?, Was it ethically justifiable for Abraham to keep silent about his intention as far as Sarah, Eleazar and Isaac were concerned?), he says: "My intention is to depict from the story of Abraham (...) the dialectic wich resides in it, in order to see what an immense paradox faith implies, a paradox that may transform a killing into a sacred God pleasing act, a paradox that gives back Isaac to Abraham and which no thinking can encompass because faith begins where thinking stops" [18].

Abraham is a hero for Kierkegaard. He is a hero for Levinas as well, although not in the same sense. Both agree that God's calling disturbs the Patriarch. Only on the foundation of this disturbance can a responsible individual enter a human solidarity that will not be the violence, called by Levinas "History" and "Politics" or its complem ent that is called by Kierkegaard "Christianity" [19].

6. Instead of conclusions

Finally, going back to the philological perspective, probably the most suitable when we talk about the relations between cultures and traditions, large studies of these two religious traditions have brought out the exegetic relations between Judaism and Christianity during the first six centuries A.D. and have demonstrated that the intersections were tighter than it has been thought. Developing a series of criteria that describe some exegetic encounters, it was possible to outline relationship between Christianity and Judaism based on familiarity. Such an analysis belongs to Edward Kessler who identified "three categories of interpretation: the first consisting of common interpretation, which indicates a common approach of the biblical text; a second one indicating possible exegetic intersections; and a third category which indicates probable exegetic intersections" [20].

The text from Genesis 22, central in both religious traditions, stimulated a rich diversity of interpretations during the first six centuries A.D, and Edward Kessler's central thesis is that neither the Judaic interpretations, nor the Christian ones can be correctly understood without referring to each other. The existence of certain exegetic intersections has ramifications both for the study of the patristic texts, and of the rabbinic ones. To properly understand the Judaic and the Christian exegeses of the late antiquity, it is essential to take into account this relationship of interdependence.

1. Diogene Laertios, Despre vietile doctrinele filosofilor (About the lives and doctrines of philosophers), 2, 22, 48, Minerva, Bucharest, 1997,' vol. 1, pp. 106-107.

2. Philon, De Abraham, 178-179; cf. Philo of Alexandria, Comentariu alegoric al Legilor Sfinte dupa lucrarea de §ase zile (Allegorical comment of the Holy Laws after the work of six days) , Paideia, Bucharest, 2002, p. 18.

3. S. Spiegel, The Last Trial, New York: Pantheon, 1967; J. L. Kugel, The Traditions of the Bible (Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1998) 302-9.

4. John J. Collins, Jewish Cult and Hellenistic Culture, Essays on the Jewish Encounter with Hellenism and Roman Rule, Brill, Leiden-Boston, 2005, p. 99.

5. In Collins' opinion, the reference must be made to the text fragments kept in Eusebios, Praeparatio Evangelica 9.20.1., 9.24.1., 9.37.1-3., cf. edition of C. R. Holladay, Fragments From Hellenistic Jewish Authors. II. Poets (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989) 205-99. Since only fragments of his work have been preserved (Alexander Polyhistor, the middle of the 1st century B.C.), it is plausibly dated in the second century B.C.; see the entire analysis of the poem in John J. Collins, Jewish Cult and Hellenistic Culture, Essays on the Jewish Encounter with Hellenism and Roman Rule, Brill, Leiden-Boston, 2005, pp. 99-111.

6. Maurice-Ruben Hayoun, O istorie intelectuala a iudaismului (An intellectual history of Judaism), Hasefer, Bucharest, 1998, p. 33.

7. ibidem, p. 33.

8. ibidem, p. 34.

9. ibidem, p. 34.

10. In the New Testament there are numerous fragments on which the typological interpretation is based: "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24: 27); "... all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me." (Luke 24: 44).

11. Sf. Ioan Gura de Aur (St. John Chrysostom), Omilii la Facere (Homilies of Genesis), XLVII, 1 (EIBMBOR, vol.

I, 2003).

12. Sf. Grigorie de Nazianz (St. Gregory of Nazianz), Cele cinci cuvantari teologice (The five theological speeches),

II, 18 (Herald, 2008).

13. Sf. Chiril al Alexandriei (St. Cyril of Alexandria), Grafire la Facere (Interpretations of Genesis), III, (EIBMBOR, 1992).

14. ibidem, III.

15. Septuagint (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), coord. Cristian Badilita, Colegiul Noua Europa - Polirom, Bucharest / Ia§i, 2004, p. 102.

16. Augustine, Cetatea lui Dumnezeu (The city of God), trans. Marcus Dods. New York: Hafner, 1948, I, 21.

17. See the entire discussion in William J. Wainwright, Religion and Morality, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2005, chap. Abraham and the Binding of Isaac (pp. 180 - 208).

18. Soren Kierkegaard, Frica §i cutremur (Fear and Trembling), Humanitas, 2002, p. 116; see also William J. Wainwright, Religion and Morality, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2005, Ch. Abraham and the Binding of Isaac (pp. 180 - 208) and Thomas L. Pangle, Political Philosophy and the God of Abraham, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003, Ch. Kierkegaard'Challenge (pp. 172-181).

19. Merold Westphal, Levinas and Kierkegaard in Dialog, Indiana University Press, 2008, p. 6.

20. Edward Kessler, Bound by the Bible. Jews, Christians and the sacrifice of Isaac, Cambridge University Press, 2004, p. 175.

References

1. Diogene Laertios, Despre vietile doctrinele filosofilor (About the lives and doctrines of philosophers), 2, Minerva, Bucharest, 1997.

2. Philo of Alexandria, Comentariu alegoric al Legilor Sfinte dupa lucrarea de §ase zile (Allegorical comment of the Holy Laws after the work of six days), Paideia, Bucharest, 2002.

3. S. Spiegel, The Last Trial, New York: Pantheon, 1967.

4. J. L. Kugel, The Traditions of the Bible, Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1998.

5. John J. Collins, Jewish Cult and Hellenistic Culture, Essays on the Jewish Encounter with Hellenism and Roman Rule, Brill, Leiden-Boston, 2005.

6. Maurice-Ruben Hayoun, O istorie intelectuala a iudaismului (An intellectual history of Judaism), Hasefer, Bucharest, 1998.

7. Sf. loan Gura de Aur, Omilii la Facere, EIBMBOR, vol. 1, 2003.

8. Sf. Grigorie de Nazianz, Cele cinci cuvantari teologice, Editura Herald, 2008.

9. Sf. Chiril al Alexandriei, Grafire la Facere, EIBMBOR, 1992.

10. Septuaginta (Geneza, Exodul, Leviticul, Numerii, Deuteronomul), coord. Cristian Badilita, Colegiul Noua Europa - Polirom, Bucure^ti / Ia§i, 2004.

11. Augustin, Cetatea lui Dumnezeu, New York, Hafner, 1948.

12. William J. Wainwright, Religion and Morality, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2005.

13. Soren Kierkegaard, Frica §i cutremur, Humanitas, 2002.

14. Thomas L. Pangle, Political Philosophy and the God of Abraham, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.

15. Merold Westphal, Levinas and Kierkegaard in Dialog, Indiana University Press, 2008.

16. Edward Kessler, Bound by the Bible. Jews, Christians and the sacrifice of Isaac, Cambridge University Press, 2004.