The search for a philosophically satisfying account of the self and meaning is partly the search for knowledge and understanding: knowledge of what there is and how those things are related, as well as understanding the significance of things. When…
So far as I can tell, virtually no has commented on the connections between C. S. Lewis and Emmanuel Levinas-one possible exception being Pope John Paul II, a great admirer of both writers (see Hooper xii; John Paul II 36). But the connections are profound and undeniable. I’ve found no evidence that Levinas read Lewis’s work, nor any that Lewis was acquainted directly with the thought of Levinas, though Levinas became an important figure in French philosophical circles following World War II. The affinity between Lewis and Levinas must be explained in some way other than direct influence.
The first thing to note in reference to divine hiddenness is the fact that, for many, it is a deeply existential problem. The felt absence of God – for both believers and nonbelievers – may lead to hopelessness, despair, or indifference. Moving away from the existential dimension, however, we encounter the philosophical problem. The problem of divine hiddenness has generally been posed along these lines: If God exists, then the greatest possible good for an individual is that he or she relate to God in a loving relationship.
In a short paper all I can do is whet your appetite, if you have a taste for philosophical investigations. In other words, the best I can do is tease you. By ‘a taste for philosophical investigations’, I mean a fascination with certain questions-questions about ultimate meaning, but whose meaning is, ultimately, the question. For example, “What is truth?”; “What is reality?”; “What is knowledge?”; “What is the self?”; “What is meaning?” These are philosophical questions, both because the answers we give to them will shape the way we live our lives (and in that sense are ultimately meaningful), and because they are questions whose meanings are themselves so puzzling.