By Benjamin Pollock

Franz Rosenzweig's near-conversion to Christianity in the summertime of 1913 and his next determination 3 months later to recommit himself to Judaism is among the foundational narratives of recent Jewish proposal. during this new account of occasions, Benjamin Pollock means that what lay on the center of Rosenzweig's non secular hindrance was once no longer a fight among religion and cause, yet skepticism concerning the international and wish for private salvation. an in depth exam of this crucial time in Rosenzweig’s existence, the e-book additionally sheds gentle at the complete trajectory of his philosophical improvement.

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Additional resources for Franz Rosenzweig's Conversions: World Denial and World Redemption

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Rosenzweig appears to have seen the 1910 attempt to form a community of intellectuals at Baden-Baden as offering the possibility of reconciling soul and world within the framework of the historical moment. When this community fell apart, however, Rosenzweig evidently returned to a position of world skepticism. Indeed, as we shall see, newly uncovered evidence suggests that in 1910–1911 Rosenzweig began to entertain a theological position that was extreme in its denial of the world. E a r ly Wor ld-Sk epticism The extant diaries and correspondences from 1906 through 1910 show Rosenzweig frequently pondering the relation between self a nd world through a variety of polar formulations: subject–object, spirituality–sensibility, I–world, free will–nature, soul–body.

Individual spiritual experience (soul) and religious institutions (world). The second theme of Half-Hundred Day is closely related to the first. It is the opposition that Ehrenberg sets out in the play between a personal, solitary experience of God, on the one hand, and the institution of religion, on the other. In a letter to Rudolf Ehrenberg of July 21, 1911, Rosenzweig suggests that the “Hermann-Religion” forces one to ask the question, “How does the Volk come to its religion? ”55 There is no doubt that the answer which the play offers to this question is bleak.

It is first and foremost God who is in need of the self-cancellation of the worldly; God requires that the human being negate his own worldly existence. ” But as we shall see, the three texts offer different accounts of why God requires such worldly sacrifice: because of the tendency of those in the world to identify the divinely inspired human being with God, and hence to worship the human being instead of God; because of a breach within the divine linked to worldly time which can only be healed through human death; because the world at a particular historical moment cannot be reconciled to the divine, R e v el ation a n d Wor ld Sk epticism 33 and hence requires sacrifice in the present, in order to prepare the way for a future reconciliation.

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