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 You're here » Christian Books Index » Philosophy » Jewish Messianism and the History of Philosophy

Jewish Messianism and the History of Philosophy

Author: Martin Kavka
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       Jewish Messianism and the History of Philosophy contests the ancient opposition between Athens and Jerusalem by retrieving the concept of meontology--the doctrine of nonbeing--from the Jewish philosophical and theological tradition. For Emmanuel Levinas, as well as for Franz Rosenzweig, Hermann Cohen, and Moses Maimonides, the Greek concept of nonbeing (understood as both lack and possibility) clarifies the meaning of Jewish life. These thinkers of 'Jerusalem' use 'Athens' for Jewish ends, justifying Jewish anticapation of a future messianic era, as well as portraying the subject's intellectual and ethical acts as central in accomplishing redemption. In addition, Kavka argues that this formal structure of messianic subjectivity is not simply an acculturating move of Judaism to modern or medieval philosophical values, but it can also be found in an earlier stratum of the Jewish tradition, particularly in an ancient midrashic text discussing a group that refers to itself as the Mourners of Zion.

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