The "Nations" are the "seventy nations": a metaphor which, in the Talmudic idiom, designates the whole of humanity surrounding Israel. In this major collection of essays, Levinas considers Judaism's uncertain relationship to European culture since the Enlightenment, problems of distance and integration. It also includes essays on Franz Rosenzweig and Moses Mendelssohn, and a discussion of central importance to Jewish philosophy in the context of general philosophy. This work brings to the fore the vital encounter between philosophy and Judaism, a hallmark of Levinas's thought.
Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) was a leading philosopher and Talmudic commentator. Michael B. Smith is Emeritus Professor of French and Philosophy at Berry College, USA.