Born in Kaunas in 1906, Emmanuel Levinas, the Litvak, went to France, in 1923, as a young Lithuanian student in Strasbourg, in France. Introducer of phenomenology in France, commentator of Husserl and Heidegger and author of one of the most original philosophies of the 20th century, Levinas and his work radiate far beyond the circles of specialists.


Levinas is the author of 30 books and over 400 articles. He has been translated into over 20 languages. He is cited 2 500 000 times on Google. Levinas is, without a doubt, one of the most important thinkers of his time.


“Levinas in Kaunas” is a five-day international event which will celebrate the work and the person of Emmanuel Levinas. It will take place at the LSMU Emmanuel Levinas Center* in Kaunas, Levinas' hometown. It will bring together French, Lithuanian, Belgium, Polish, Ukrainian, Canadian, American, Japanese, and Israeli invited speakers.



“Levinas in Kaunas” consists of an international conference and an international workshop:


-       From July 4 to July 7 (morning), 2022: The international conference “The “young Levinas”: from solitude to alterity” will be dedicated to the youth of Emmanuel Levinas in Lithuania (1906-1923) and the elaboration of his philosophy between 1923 and 1960. This will be the first time ever that an international Levinas’ conference is specifically dedicated to this period of Levinas philosophy.


-       July 7 (afternoon) and July 8, 2022: The infinite responsibility for the Other, which is at the center of Levinas' ethics elaborated after 1960 has direct implications in bio and medical ethics. The international workshop, “Ethical perspectives of health care practices”, will address the concrete implications of Levinas’ thought for the philosophy of care.



*The LSMU Emmanuel Levinas Centre was inaugurated on December 6, 2022, on the eighth day of the celebration of Hannuka, twenty-six years to the day after the death of Levinas. It is the realization of a shared Franco-Lithuanian vision that united back in 2018 ambassador Philippe Jeantaud, LSMU rector and French honorary consul Pr. Remigijus Žaliūnas, Kaunas mayor Visvaldas Matijošaitis and Prime minister Saulius Skvernelis, who made everything possible.It celebrates the life and work of Emmanuel Levinas. As such, it celebrates the Jewish community of Kaunas and all the Litvak. It is a memorial to the victims of antisemitism and National Socialism in Lithuania. It honors the 915 "Righteous among the Nations" from Lithuania who realized, in the more concrete way, Levinas’ philosophy. They were ready for the ultimate sacrifice, to support, hide, and save Jews with determination and courage. Thanks to the tremendous generosity of the Kaunas municipality and of the Lithuanian University of Health Science (LSMU), the center is located in a building historically associated with France. The French consulate and the chancellery of the French Embassy operated here during the interwar period.