A Secular Utopia : Remarks on the Löwith-Blumenberg Debate

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

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.

Details

Authors
External organisations
  • Stockholm school of theology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Religious Studies

Keywords

  • Karl Löwith, Hans Blumenberg, Jewish thought, utopianism, secularization, progress, messianism
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJewish Thought, Utopia and Revolution
EditorsElena Namli, Jayne Svenungsson, Alana M. Vincent
PublisherRodopi
Pages69-84
Volume274
ISBN (Print)9789042038332
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedNo
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

Name
Volume274
ISSN (Print)0929-8436

Related research output

Elena Namli (ed.), Jayne Svenungsson (ed.) & Alana M. Vincent (ed.), 2014, Rodopi. 211 p. (Value inquiry book series; vol. 274)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology (editor)

View all (1)