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Abstract

Redemption in Judaism is typically thought of as an historical and eschatological category: God has redeemed Israel in the past and will do so again in the future. Although this dipolar understanding of redemption has been dominant in Judaism, forms of actualized redemption have also found expression in which Jews, either individually or communally, secure a positive redemptive status in the present. This article focuses on the peculiar fact that Franz Rosenzweig and Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik both include an actualized component within their theories of redemption. After brief consideration of Kierkegaard as a potential source for their accounts of actualized redemption, I explore how actualized redemption fits into Rosenzweig’s and Soloveitchik’s larger thought and consider their philosophical and theological motivations for conceiving of redemption as achievable. In the concluding section of the paper, I critique Rosenzweig’s and Solovetchik’s accounts of actualized redemption and suggest that Abraham Joshua Heschel’s and Eliezer Berkovits’ alternative theological anthropologies that emphasize the cultivation of holiness circumvent some of the problems I associate with actualized redemption.

Abstract

Starting with theoretical considerations on redemption in Rosenzweig’s Der Stern der Erlösung, this paper highlights the connection between redemption and choral form in Church music (e.g. in Bach’s Passions and in musical mass). Therefore, according to Rosenzweig, one can clearly distinguish between sacred/religious (geistlich) and spiritual/intellectual (geistig) music. Rosenzweig also writes about renewing Jewish worship through Bach’s vocal music, but we are given scant hints about this. “Bach in die Synagogen!” is nevertheless important, not only as an example for interreligious dialogue, but above all as an invitation to think about redemption in the postmodern condition.

Abstract

The concurrence of different languages is one of the tenets of Rosenzweig Sprachdenken and of his translation activity which finds its main theoretical explication in the afterword to his ‘Zweiundneunzig Hymnen und Gedichte des Yehuda Halevi’ (Konstanz, Wöhrle, 1924). In the afterword to the translation of ha-Levi’s lyrical corpus, Rosenzweig outlines a translation model which, trying to convey all the morphological, syntactic and lexical traits of the source language into the target language, gives way to a real linguistic fusion which defies the limits and boundaries of expression and opens onto a redemptive perspective. On the basis of this concluding note and of some passages from ‘The Star of Redemption’, the article tries to analyse Rosenzweig’s idea of language and of its nexus with the idea of redemption with reference to Walter Benjamin’s famous essay ‘The Task of the Translator’ and, as a point of convergence, with Paul Celan’s conception of poetic language.

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Abstract

In the early decades of the twentieth century, the concept of community (Gemeinschaft) was associated with an ideal society or polity; a host of figures conceived of redemption as the creation and development of community. In this paper, I briefly discuss how this ideal was appropriated by Martin Buber and how genuine community came to mean, for him, a society organized in terms of a collection of I-Thou oriented relationships. I then consider how the same ideal might help us to understand the social and historical ideal which Franz Rosenzweig takes to be the redemptive ideal of Judaism and the Jewish people.

Abstract

When German authorities established the Theresienstadt Ghetto for Bohemian and Moravian Jews in late 1941, the site initially functioned much like other ghettos and transit camps at the time, as a mere way station to sites of extermination further East. The decision to reconfigure the ghetto as a site of internment for select “privileged” groups of Jews from Germany and Western Europe, and its advertisement as a “Jewish settlement” in Nazi propaganda, constituted an apparent paradox for a regime that sought to make the Greater German Reich “judenrein” (clean of Jews). This article investigates the Theresienstadt Ghetto from a historical-spatial perspective and argues that varying prejudices and degrees of antisemitism shaped divergent “spatial solutions” to segregate Jews from non-Jews, wherein the perceived divide between so-called “Ostjuden” and assimilated Western Jews played a central role. In this analysis, Theresienstadt emerges as a logical culmination to paradoxical policies designed to segregate select groups of German and assimilated Western European Jews.

Abstract

This article introduces and discusses a short correspondence that took place in November 1931 between Gershom Scholem and Jacob Gordin. Gordin was a Russian-Jewish philosopher of religion, an expert on Hermann Cohen, and a founding figure of the postwar Paris School of Jewish Thought. The initial motivation for the correspondence was Scholem’s wish to produce a critical edition of the 17th century kabbalistic work, Shaar Hashamayim by Abraham Cohen Herrera, for which he asked for Gordin’s help. A close reading of Gordin’s response to Scholem and Scholem’s belated response to Gordin highlight the respective views of these thinkers regarding the relationship between kabbalah and Western philosophy in the modern era, and in German idealism in particular. The article is followed by a translation of the correspondence.

Abstract

Der Artikel untersucht den originären Beitrag Simon Kronbergs zur deutschen Literatur des Expressionismus. Der zu den „vergessenen und verkannten Autoren der expressionistischen Generation” (Lützeler) gehörende Kronberg ist bis heute kaum untersucht. Als Sohn jüdisch-galizischer Zuwanderer 1891 in Wien geboren, studiert er 1913 bei Emile Jacques-Dalcroze, dessen Licht- und Bewegungschoreographien ihn nachhaltig prägen. Weitere Stationen sind Düsseldorf bei dem Schauspieler-Paar Lindemann/Dumont, München und Berlin. 1934 emigriert er nach Palästina, wo er 1947 stirbt. Seine Texte entwerfen eine Sprache, deren sinnstiftende Bilder von seiner biographischen Erfahrung geprägt sind und jüdische Mystik, Tanz und Rhythmus auf spezifische Weise integrieren. Im Zentrum steht Kronbergs Konzeption des Schattens als einer Möglichkeit der Wandlung des Menschen in einer Welt der Rationalität und der Entkopplung des täglichen Lebens von Körper und Sinnlichkeit hin zu einer Erfahrung des Lichts. Am Beispiel seiner Erzählung “Chamlam” zeigt der Beitrag, dass seine Schattenfiguren in einem beachtenswerten Spannungsverhältnis zum Diskurs der Gespenster im Expressionismus stehen.