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The Messianic Now

Author: Arthur Bradley
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317982096
Size: 33.85 MB
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This collection explores the phenomenon of the messianic in contemporary philosophy, religion and culture. From the later Derrida’s work on Marx and Benjamin to Agamben and Badiou’s recent texts on St Paul, it is becoming possible to detect a marked ‘messianic turn’ in contemporary continental thought. However, despite the plethora of work in the field there has not been any sustained attempt to think through the larger philosophical, theological and cultural implications of this phenomenon. What, then, characterises our contemporary messianic moment? Where does it come from? And why speak of the messianic now? In The Messianic Now: Philosophy, Religion, Culture, a group of internationally-known figures and rising stars within the fields of continental philosophy, religious studies and cultural studies come together to consider what the messianic might mean at the beginning of the 21st century. This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Cultural Research.

Giving Beyond The Gift

Author: Elliot R. Wolfson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0823255700
Size: 58.45 MB
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This book grapples with the extent to which several twentieth-century Jewish thinkers--Cohen, Buber, Rosenzweig, and Levinas--were all keenly aware of the pitfalls of scriptural theism and the penchant of the human imagination to conjure false representations of transcendence, and yet, in differing degrees, they each gave in to the temptation of personifying that transcendence, even as they tried either to circumvent or to restrain it by apophatically purging the kataphatic descriptions of the deity. Derrida and Wyschogrod, by contrast, carried the project of denegation one step further, embarking on a path that culminated in the aporetic suspension of belief and the consequent removal of all images from God, a move that seriously compromises the viability of devotional piety. Following the path of these thinkers, the book calls for a more far-reaching apophasis that surpasses the theolatrous impulse that lies coiled in the crux of theism, an apophasis of the apophasis, based on the acceptance of an absolute nothingness--to be distinguished from the nothingness of an absolute--that does not signify the unknowable One but the manifold that is the pleromatic abyss at being's core. On this score, the much celebrated metaphor of the gift would give way to the more neutral and less theologically charged notion of an irreducible and unconditional givenness in which the distinction between giver and given collapses. To think givenness in its most elemental phenomenological sense is to allow the apparent to appear as given without presuming a causal agency that would turn that given into a gift.

The Vanguard Messiah

Author: Sami Sjöberg
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
ISBN: 3110424525
Size: 77.81 MB
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In recent years the role of religion in the avant-garde has begun to attract scholarly interest. The present volume focuses on the work of the Romanian Jewish poet and visual artist Isidore Isou (1925–2007) who founded the lettrist movement in the 1940s. The Jewish tradition played a critical part in the Western avant-garde as represented by lettrism. The links between lettrism and Judaism are substantial, yet they have been largely unexplored until now. The study investigates the works of a movement that explicitly emphasises its vanguard position while relying on a medieval religious tradition as a source of radical textual techniques. It accounts for lettrism’s renunciation of mainstream traditions in favour of a subversive tradition, in this case Jewish mysticism. The religious inclination of lettrism also affects the notion of the avant-garde. The elements of the Jewish tradition in Isou’s theories and artistic production evoke a broader framework where religion and experimental art supplement each other.

The Politics To Come

Author: Arthur Bradley
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1441189203
Size: 78.36 MB
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The Politics to Come brings together an international collection of thinkers to consider the meaning of liberal democratic modernity at a moment when its future has never been less certain. It examines the explosive threats the liberal order confronts today: financial meltdown, religious extremism, environmental catastrophe. Yet, it also seeks to place these - singularly modern - crises within a much longer history. For the contributors to this collection, it is the ancient religious tradition called 'the messianic' that provides the critical lens through which modernity may be interrogated. In its ongoing struggles with the messianic, liberal modernity confronts the promise and threat of a radically new Politics to Come. So what are the Politics to Come? How do they manifest themselves throughout history? Why does the possibility of a messianic judgement continue to haunt the western political imaginary? This collection offers a series of political, philosophical and theological perspectives from which the future of liberal modernity - if it has one - can be imagined.

Theological And Philosophical Premises Of Judaism

Author: Jacob Neusner
Publisher: Academic Studies PRess
ISBN: 1934843199
Size: 40.95 MB
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Classical Judaism imagined the situation of the people of Israel to be unique among the nations of the earth in three aspects. The nations lived in unclean lands, contaminated by corpses and redolent of death. They themselves were destined to die without hope of renewed life after the grave. They were prisoners of secular time, subject to the movement and laws of history in its inexorable logic. Heaven did not pay attention to what they did and did not care about their conduct, so long as they observed the basic decencies mandated by the commandments that applied to the heirs of Noah, seven fundamental rules in all. That is not how Israel the holy people was conceived. The Israel contemplated by Rabbinic Judaism lived in sacred space and in enchanted time, all the while subject to the constant surveillance of an eye that sees all, an ear that hears all, and a sentient being that recalls all. Why the divine obsession with Israel? God yearned for Israel’s love and constantly contemplated its conduct. The world imagined by the Rabbis situated Israel in an enchanted kingdom, a never-never land, and conceived of God as omniscient and ubiquitous. Here Neusner shows that in its generative theology, Rabbinic Judaism in its formative age invoked the perpetual presence of God overseeing all that Israelites said and did. It conceived of Israel as transcending the movement of history and living in a perpetual present tense. Israel located itself in a Land like no other, and it organized its social order in a hierarchical structure ascending to the one God situated at the climax and head of all being.

From Logos To Trinity

Author: Marian Hillar
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139505149
Size: 80.68 MB
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This book presents a critical evaluation of the doctrine of the Trinity, tracing its development and investigating the intellectual, philosophical and theological background that shaped this influential doctrine of Christianity. Despite the centrality of Trinitarian thought to Christianity and its importance as one of the fundamental tenets that differentiates Christianity from Judaism and Islam, the doctrine is not fully formulated in the canon of Christian scriptural texts. Instead, it evolved through the conflation of selective pieces of scripture with the philosophical and religious ideas of ancient Hellenistic milieu. Marian Hillar analyzes the development of Trinitarian thought during the formative years of Christianity from its roots in ancient Greek philosophical concepts and religious thinking in the Mediterranean region. He identifies several important sources of Trinitarian thought heretofore largely ignored by scholars, including the Greek middle-Platonic philosophical writings of Numenius and Egyptian metaphysical writings and monuments representing divinity as a triune entity.