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Law and Liberation : Critical Notes on Agamben's Political Messianism

Svenungsson, Jayne LU (2017) In European Judaism 50. p.68-77
Abstract
Throughout history, Jewish notions of justice, hope and redemption have inspired political visions within as well as beyond the Jewish tradition. In the past century, examples can be drawn from Ernst Bloch to Walter Benjamin and Jacques Derrida. Also in the present politico-philosophical debate, a number of prominent voices draw explicitly on Jewish sources in their attempts to formulate radical visions. This article engages with one of the more influential figures in this respect, Giorgio Agamben. Although Agamben offers a highly original and constructive reading of Jewish notions of justice, hope and redemption, it will nevertheless be argued that he fails to do justice to an essential element in Jewish conceptions of liberation. In... (More)
Throughout history, Jewish notions of justice, hope and redemption have inspired political visions within as well as beyond the Jewish tradition. In the past century, examples can be drawn from Ernst Bloch to Walter Benjamin and Jacques Derrida. Also in the present politico-philosophical debate, a number of prominent voices draw explicitly on Jewish sources in their attempts to formulate radical visions. This article engages with one of the more influential figures in this respect, Giorgio Agamben. Although Agamben offers a highly original and constructive reading of Jewish notions of justice, hope and redemption, it will nevertheless be argued that he fails to do justice to an essential element in Jewish conceptions of liberation. In consistently posing ‘law’ as the counterpole to liberation, Agamben disregards the extent to which law, in the Jewish tradition, is constitutive of justice, hope and redemption. Moreover, in equating ‘law’ with coercion and oppression he also fails to recognize the progressive force of the politico-juridical system, which is the target of his critique. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Agamben, Political Messianism, Justice, Redemption, Hope
in
European Judaism
volume
50
pages
10 pages
publisher
Berghahn Journals
external identifiers
  • scopus:85039900012
  • wos:000408499400009
ISSN
0014-3006
DOI
10.3167/ej.2017.500109
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2aa03845-d4d9-498e-9ab9-674003325ad4
date added to LUP
2017-05-25 10:18:34
date last changed
2018-01-16 13:19:47
@article{2aa03845-d4d9-498e-9ab9-674003325ad4,
  abstract     = {Throughout history, Jewish notions of justice, hope and redemption have inspired political visions within as well as beyond the Jewish tradition. In the past century, examples can be drawn from Ernst Bloch to Walter Benjamin and Jacques Derrida. Also in the present politico-philosophical debate, a number of prominent voices draw explicitly on Jewish sources in their attempts to formulate radical visions. This article engages with one of the more influential figures in this respect, Giorgio Agamben. Although Agamben offers a highly original and constructive reading of Jewish notions of justice, hope and redemption, it will nevertheless be argued that he fails to do justice to an essential element in Jewish conceptions of liberation. In consistently posing ‘law’ as the counterpole to liberation, Agamben disregards the extent to which law, in the Jewish tradition, is constitutive of justice, hope and redemption. Moreover, in equating ‘law’ with coercion and oppression he also fails to recognize the progressive force of the politico-juridical system, which is the target of his critique.},
  author       = {Svenungsson, Jayne},
  issn         = {0014-3006},
  keyword      = {Agamben, Political Messianism,Justice,Redemption,Hope},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {68--77},
  publisher    = {Berghahn Journals},
  series       = {European Judaism},
  title        = {Law and Liberation : Critical Notes on Agamben's Political Messianism},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/ej.2017.500109},
  volume       = {50},
  year         = {2017},
}