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A Secular Utopia : Remarks on the Löwith-Blumenberg Debate

Svenungsson, Jayne LU (2014) In Jewish Thought, Utopia and Revolution 274. p.69-84
Abstract
The article discusses the philosophical debate between Karl Löwith and Hans Blumenberg. Contrary to figures such as Landauer and Buber – but also to a number of other figures discussed in this volume – these two thinkers were united in their hesitance about the purportedly constructive impact of the biblical theological legacy on modern political thought. Significant to both philosophers, in spite of their opposed positions in the debate, is also the tendency to blur the boundaries between Jewish and Christian theological inheritances, and indeed between variants within each theological system. The author is critical of these tendencies, arguing that “both, in the end, fail to do justice to the complexity of the relation between modern... (More)
The article discusses the philosophical debate between Karl Löwith and Hans Blumenberg. Contrary to figures such as Landauer and Buber – but also to a number of other figures discussed in this volume – these two thinkers were united in their hesitance about the purportedly constructive impact of the biblical theological legacy on modern political thought. Significant to both philosophers, in spite of their opposed positions in the debate, is also the tendency to blur the boundaries between Jewish and Christian theological inheritances, and indeed between variants within each theological system. The author is critical of these tendencies, arguing that “both, in the end, fail to do justice to the complexity of the relation between modern political ideology and its theological past.” She maintains that it is only when we recognize this complexity that we can fully engage in a critical assessment of the relation between modern political thought and various strands of the biblical inheritance. Finally, the author suggests a specifically Jewish form of messianism as a necessary critical corrective to the failure of both Löwith’s and Blumenberg’s systems to offer a constructive way of being in the world. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Karl Löwith, Hans Blumenberg, Jewish thought, utopianism, secularization, progress, messianism
in
Jewish Thought, Utopia and Revolution
editor
Namli, Elena; Svenungsson, Jayne; Vincent, Alana M.; ; and
volume
274
pages
69 - 84
publisher
Rodopi
ISSN
0929-8436
ISBN
9789042038332
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
918ce841-770a-4808-8b3e-36aeceb246f7 (old id 8626617)
date added to LUP
2016-02-15 08:39:41
date last changed
2017-04-14 09:55:04
@inbook{918ce841-770a-4808-8b3e-36aeceb246f7,
  abstract     = {The article discusses the philosophical debate between Karl Löwith and Hans Blumenberg. Contrary to figures such as Landauer and Buber – but also to a number of other figures discussed in this volume – these two thinkers were united in their hesitance about the purportedly constructive impact of the biblical theological legacy on modern political thought. Significant to both philosophers, in spite of their opposed positions in the debate, is also the tendency to blur the boundaries between Jewish and Christian theological inheritances, and indeed between variants within each theological system. The author is critical of these tendencies, arguing that “both, in the end, fail to do justice to the complexity of the relation between modern political ideology and its theological past.” She maintains that it is only when we recognize this complexity that we can fully engage in a critical assessment of the relation between modern political thought and various strands of the biblical inheritance. Finally, the author suggests a specifically Jewish form of messianism as a necessary critical corrective to the failure of both Löwith’s and Blumenberg’s systems to offer a constructive way of being in the world.},
  author       = {Svenungsson, Jayne},
  editor       = {Namli, Elena and Svenungsson, Jayne and Vincent, Alana M.},
  isbn         = {9789042038332},
  issn         = {0929-8436},
  keyword      = {Karl Löwith,Hans Blumenberg,Jewish thought,utopianism,secularization,progress,messianism},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {69--84},
  publisher    = {Rodopi},
  series       = {Jewish Thought, Utopia and Revolution},
  title        = {A Secular Utopia : Remarks on the Löwith-Blumenberg Debate},
  volume       = {274},
  year         = {2014},
}