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

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

byEric Jacobson

Kobo ebook | August 20, 2003

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Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem are regarded as two of the most influential Jewish thinkers of the twentieth century. Together they produced a dynamic body of ideas that has had a lasting impact on the study of religion, philosophy, and literary criticism.

Drawing from Benjamin's and Scholem's ideas on messianism, language, and divine justice, this book traces the intellectual exchange through the early decades of the twentieth century—from Berlin, Bern, and Munich in the throws of war and revolution to Scholem's departure for Palestine in 1923. It begins with a close reading of Benjamin's early writings and a study of Scholem's theological politics, followed by an examination of Benjamin's proposals on language and the influence these ideas had on Scholem's scholarship on Jewish mysticism. From there the book turns to their ideas on divine justice—from Benjamin's critique of original sin and violence to Scholem's application of the categories to the prophets and Bolshevism. Metaphysics of the Profane is the first book to make this early period available to a wider audience, revealing the intricate structure of this early intellectual partnership on politics and theology.

Eric Jacobson is Senior Lecturer in Jewish Studies and chair of Theology and Religious Studies at Roehampton University London.
Title:Metaphysics of the Profane: The Political Theology of Walter Benjamin and Gershom ScholemFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:August 20, 2003Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231501536

ISBN - 13:9780231501538


Table of Contents

I Messianism
1. The Messianic Idea in Walter Benjamin's Early Writings
2. Gershom Scholem's Theological Politics
II On the Origins of Language and the True Names of Things
3. On the Origins of Language
4. Gershom Scholem and the Name of God
III Justice and Redemption
5. Prophetic Justice
6. Judgment, Violence, and Redemption

Editorial Reviews

Jacobson's work is focused on the early political and theological concepts of both authors from the years 1915-1923, seeking to reconstruct Benjamin's and Scholem's early discussions on politics and theology.... These ideas, which the authors established together in an early phase, were central for both their later thinking and were to have a tremendous impact on contemporary philosophy and Jewish studies in this century.