Metaphysics of the Profane: The Political Theology of Walter by Eric Jacobson

By Eric Jacobson

Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem are considered as of the main influential Jewish thinkers of the 20th century. jointly they produced a dynamic physique of rules that has had an enduring influence at the learn of faith, philosophy, and literary criticism.

Drawing from Benjamin's and Scholem's principles on messianism, language, and divine justice, this ebook strains the highbrow alternate during the early many years of the 20 th century--from Berlin, Bern, and Munich within the throws of battle and revolution to Scholem's departure for Palestine in 1923. It starts with a detailed studying of Benjamin's early writings and a research of Scholem's theological politics, by means of an exam of Benjamin's proposals on language and the impact those rules had on Scholem's scholarship on Jewish mysticism. From there the booklet turns to their rules on divine justice--from Benjamin's critique of unique sin and violence to Scholem's program of the kinds to the prophets and Bolshevism. Metaphysics of the Profane is the 1st e-book to make this early interval on hand to a much wider viewers, revealing the tricky constitution of this early highbrow partnership on politics and theology.

"The time period 'political theology' frequently invokes pictures of progressive political struggles triggered by means of messianic or apocalyptic expectancies. As Eric Jacobson shows... such progressive Messianism... isn't exclusively the province of Catholic liberation theology and Protestant theologies of desire, yet can be attribute of the writing of 2 of the extra favourite Jewish thinkers within the 20th century. … Jacobson's account of the early non secular and political concepts of Benjamin and Scholem is filled with illuminating insights into the interdependence of those thinkers, and into the uniqueness in their politics." — Thomas A. James, magazine of Political Theology

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Metaphysics of the Profane: The Political Theology of Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem

Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem are considered as of the main influential Jewish thinkers of the 20 th century. jointly they produced a dynamic physique of principles that has had an enduring effect at the learn of faith, philosophy, and literary criticism.

Drawing from Benjamin's and Scholem's rules on messianism, language, and divine justice, this publication strains the highbrow trade during the early many years of the 20 th century--from Berlin, Bern, and Munich within the throws of warfare and revolution to Scholem's departure for Palestine in 1923. It starts off with a detailed examining of Benjamin's early writings and a examine of Scholem's theological politics, by means of an exam of Benjamin's proposals on language and the impression those rules had on Scholem's scholarship on Jewish mysticism. From there the booklet turns to their principles on divine justice--from Benjamin's critique of unique sin and violence to Scholem's software of the kinds to the prophets and Bolshevism. Metaphysics of the Profane is the 1st e-book to make this early interval on hand to a much wider viewers, revealing the tricky constitution of this early highbrow partnership on politics and theology.

"The time period 'political theology' frequently invokes pictures of progressive political struggles triggered by means of messianic or apocalyptic expectancies. As Eric Jacobson indicates. .. such innovative Messianism. .. isn't exclusively the province of Catholic liberation theology and Protestant theologies of wish, yet is additionally attribute of the writing of 2 of the extra admired Jewish thinkers within the 20th century. … Jacobson's account of the early spiritual and political strategies of Benjamin and Scholem is stuffed with illuminating insights into the interdependence of those thinkers, and into the individuality in their politics. " — Thomas A. James, magazine of Political Theology

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Extra resources for Metaphysics of the Profane: The Political Theology of Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem

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For the moment, the profane is a condition and the construction of agency in this world. Agency, in other words, is here conceived independently of the idea of a divine kingdom, for while agency has a practical, almost visceral meaning, the kingdom of God does not. It is most clearly not political. Moreover, this distinction is quite apparent if one considers the problem of revelation: for revelation without divine intention contravenes the first postulate of the theory of attributes, that God is all-knowing, which situates the divine realm far from sensory experience.

He continues: For empirical events time is nothing but a form, but, what is more important, as a form it is unfulfilled. The event does not fulfill the formal nature of the time in which it takes place. For we should not think of time as merely the measure that records the duration of a mechanical change. 89 In an early text Scholem composed for Benjamin as a birthday gift in July 1918, entitled “Ninety-five Theses on Judaism and Zionism,” he captures the relevance of this notion for their early discourse.

The central position played by the Messiah in the first two narratives becomes all but secondary here. What is important in Lurianic theory is the role of humanity in initiating the messianic age. The standard dimensions of Jewish messianism—a Messiah without features, yet one preforming distinct, predesignated historical acts—are naturally not lost here. Yet the role of human agency takes on new importance, heralding a revolutionary interpretation of redemption that has profoundly influenced the messianic idea in Judaism up to the present.

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