Research Activities

Contribution to the Levinas research

 

In Israel, Ephraim Meir was one of the first to disseminate and promote Levinas's ethical metaphysics and Jewish thought. Through his translation of Levinas’s work, he has contributed to Levinas's reception in Israel. His view on the close relationship and the juncture between the Jewish world and the general world in Levinas’s work comes into expression in his Levinas’s Jewish Thought Between Jerusalem and Athens (2008).

 

 

Jewish existentialism

 

A focal point in Meir’s research is the study of Jewish existentialism. In his Jewish Existential Philosophers in Dialogue (2004), he brings together Jewish and non-Jewish existentialists and discusses the special contribution of Jewish philosophers to existential philosophy. The difference and dialogue between the Jewish and general culture is also the theme in his Differenz und Dialog (2013).

 

 

Rosenzweig research

 

Among the Jewish existentialists, Meir paid special attention to Franz Rosenzweig, One of his books on Rosenzweig, Letters of Love. Franz Rosenzweig’s Spiritual Biography and Oeuvre in Light of the Gritli Letters (2006), comprises an in-depth analysis of Rosenzweig’s letters to Gritli Rosenstock-Huessy. These letters, which were published in 2002, offer new and surprising insights into the biography and work of Rosenzweig. The volume is a pioneering work, influential for the further study of Rosenzweig's thought.

 

 

Buber and Heschel

 

Recently, Meir conducted research into the thoughts of Martin Buber and Abraham Joshua Heschel, which resulted in the volume Between Heschel and Buber. A Comparative Study (2012), published in cooperation with Alexander Even-Chen. He also wrote a book on Martin Buber’s “I and Thou”: Jij zeggen met Martin Buber. Dialogische Opmerkingen bij Bubers 'Ik en jij' (2006),

 

 

Jewish thought on the Shoa

 

Meir has special interest in Jewish thought on the Shoa. His book on the subject Towards an Active Memory. Society, Man and God after Auschwitz (2006) deals with the shaping of memory on the Shoa and takes part in the lively discussion in Israel on the universal or particular character of the Shoa.

 

 

Dialogical view on identity

 

Meir discusses the theme of identity in his Identity Dialogically Constructed  (2011). The same theme recurs in his book  Dialogical Thought and Identity (2013),  published by Magnes in cooperation with De Gruyter. In the volume, Meir explores the problem of identity as treated primarily, but not exclusively, by Jewish dialogical thinkers and offers his own view on identity, in which dialogue is an integral element.

 

 

Contribution to the construction of an interreligious theology

 

My book entitled Interreligious Theology. Its Value and Mooring in Modern Jewish Philosophy (2015), a follow-up of the aforementioned one, is a contribution to an emerging new theology that promotes the interrelatedness of religions and in which encounter, openness, hospitality, active dialogue and permanent learning are central. It is an attempt to construct a dialogical, interreligious theology from a Jewish point a view. Also Becoming Interreligious (2017) and Faith in the Plural (2021) discuss a dialogical theology inspired by Jewish dialogical philosophers.