By Bruce Rosenstock
Drawing jointly severe moments within the background of ecu Jewry-its front as a player within the Enlightenment venture of spiritual and political reform and its involvement within the disturbing upheavals caused by the nice War-this publication bargains a reappraisal of the intersection of tradition, politics, theology, and philosophy within the glossy international in the course of the lens of 2 of crucial thinkers in their day, Moses Mendelssohn and Franz Rosenzweig. Their imaginative and prescient of where of the Jewish humans not just inside of German society but in addition in the unfolding historical past of humankind as an entire challenged the reigning cultural assumptions of the day and opened new methods of puzzling over cause, language, politics, and the resources of moral legal responsibility. In making the Jewish questionserve as a manner of reflecting upon the human questionof how we will stay jointly in acknowledgment of our finitude, our otherness, and our shared desire for a extra simply destiny, Mendelssohn and Rosenzweig modeled a manner of doing philosophy as an engaged intervention within the so much urgent existential concerns confronting us all.In the ultimate chapters of the e-book, the trail past Mendelssohn and Rosenzweig is traced out within the paintings of Hannah Arendt and Stanley Cavell. In gentle of Arendt's and Cavell's reflections concerning the foundations of democratic sociality, Rosenstock deals a portrait of an immigrant Rosenzweigjoined in dialog together with his American cousins.
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Additional resources for Philosophy and the Jewish Question: Mendelssohn, Rosenzweig, and Beyond
If we want to reconnect Mendelssohn’s and Rosenzweig’s political theologies, one approach that is possible, therefore, passes through their aesthetic theories. This is the approach I will take Introduction 19 in this book. Mendelssohn’s political philosophy is deeply informed by his aesthetic theory, in which beauty is deﬁned as the product of the perfecting of the world. By emphasizing Rosenzweig’s own aesthetic theory in The Star of Redemption, we may ﬁnd a ground of commonality upon which to reconnect Mendelssohn and Rosenzweig on the plane of the political.
There will always be sovereign states that come and go, but the gathered worshipping community (‘‘Kirchengemeinde’’) of the invisible church will never pass away. Hegel’s concept of the church, Rosenzweig writes, is constructed ‘‘in the strictly Protestant sense as an inward and supramundane one’’ whose community is ‘‘a community of saints or the faithful’’ (Hegel-Staat 2:184). The invisible church dwells within the state, but its life is woven into the state’s temporal fabric with only the slimmest of threads, ready to be cut as the mortal body of the state dies.
Mendelssohn’s conception of the political underlines the point that the state is not to be reduced to a detached, formalized machine simply running on its own. 14 Introduction By emphasizing the equally fundamental spiritual and religious aspects in the genesis of civil society, he formulates a theory of the state which recognizes that religion and individual spiritual happiness are intimately linked to the deﬁnition and legitimation of political institutions. (Goetschel 2004: 155–56) In the next chapter, I will explain in greater detail Mendelssohn’s argument about the emergence of civil and religious institutions through the interlocking of what he calls, following the legal philosopher Samuel von Pufendorf (1632–94), ‘‘perfect’’ and ‘‘imperfect’’ rights.
Philosophy and the Jewish Question: Mendelssohn, Rosenzweig, and Beyond by Bruce Rosenstock