By Bruce Rosenstock

Drawing jointly serious moments within the heritage of eu Jewry-its front as a player within the Enlightenment venture of non secular and political reform and its involvement within the irritating upheavals as a result of the nice War-this publication deals a reappraisal of the intersection of tradition, politics, theology, and philosophy within the smooth global during the lens of 2 of an important 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 wondering cause, language, politics, and the assets of moral legal responsibility. In making the Jewish questionserve as a fashion of reflecting upon the human questionof how we will be able to 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 such a lot urgent existential concerns confronting us all.In the ultimate chapters of the ebook, 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 in regards to the foundations of democratic sociality, Rosenstock bargains a portrait of an immigrant Rosenzweigjoined in dialog together with his American cousins.

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Extra resources for Philosophy and the Jewish Question: Mendelssohn, Rosenzweig, and Beyond

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Mendelssohn on Judaism and Enlightenment 35 In 1782, one year before Michaelis’s comments were published in a supplementary volume (‘‘Zweiter Theil’’) of Dohm’s work, Mendelssohn offered his own reply to Dohm, as I have already mentioned, in his Vorrede to Menassah ben Israel’s seventeenth-century appeal for toleration of Jews in Cromwellian England. We shall see that his intervention in the debate over civil rights for the Jews will ultimately bring him into direct conflict with Michaelis, but only after his publication of Jerusalem.

Jesus had tried again to lay bare the essential truth that had been obscured by the ‘‘Hebrew mysteries’’ of the Jewish priests. Reinhold’s exposition of Kant was intended to finally accomplish what Moses and Jesus had failed at, that is, the enlightenment of an entire people. If evidence was needed to support Rosenzweig’s intuition that 24 Introduction Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason inspired young Germans with messianic hopes, Karl Reinhold, twenty-four in the year of its publication, would supply it.

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.

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