chapter  7
Teaching Our Way Out When Nobody Knows the Way: A Levinasian Response to Modern Hope
Pages 15

This chapter will fi rst explore the surprising neglect of hope as a topic of concern in educational and philosophical discourse. It will then establish a contrast between a modern way of viewing hope, rooted in Christianity but secularized in theories of social change on the political left and right, and a Judaic understanding that draws from Levinas’s work.1 Three “pillars” of hopeful teaching-agency, reward, and social change-will be addressed for each tradition. In the discussion of social change, I will use Václav Havel’s writings to explain how, while Levinas’s ideas are motivated by his religious convictions, his stance can be sustained by non-religious teachers.