Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Religious Studies

First Advisor

Carl Raschle, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Alison Schofield, Ph.D.


Eschatology, Hope, Levinas, Messianisim, Phenomenology


This essay is an explication of the role of messianism, often expressed as hope, in the work of Emmanuel Levinas. Levinas's single philosophical project from 1933 until his passing in 1996 was to establish ethics as first philosophy. This effort was in opposition to the primacy of ontology in the work of Martin Heidegger. Levinas uses a phenomenological method similar to Heidegger's to establish messianic hope as a fundamental human motivation. Throughout Levinas's work, he borrows a religious vocabulary from his Jewish heritage that he resets into a philosophical domain. He takes a religious concept of messianism, specifically Jewish formulations of messianism, and associates it with the human affect of hope. Messianic hope becomes a persistent theme in all of Levinas's work. This essay will explore the origins of this terminology, the role of temporality, and how he uses messianic hope throughout his work to further his philosophical aims.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Gary Ray Sunshine


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

63 p.


Philosophy of Religion