Divining History: Prophetism, Messianism and the Development of the Spirit

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Throughout history, messianic ideas of impending redemption have inspired people to turn against unjust and oppressive orders. Yet the very same ideas have been accused of paving the way for the utopian and sometimes violent ideologies of modernity. This book explores the double-edged legacy of Jewish and Christian theologies of history. What is the impact of this legacy on modern philosophies of history and the political ideologies they have engendered? Tracing a line from ancient Jewish prophetism to Joachim of Fiore, German Romanticism and contemporary radical thinkers such as Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, the author engages in a politico-philosophical debate that attempts to strike a balance between utopian arrogance and resigned loss of vision.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History of Ideas
  • History of Religions


  • Schelling, Schleiermacher, Novalis, Joachim of Fiore, radical political thought, prophetic literature, apocalypticism, messianism, prophetism, utopianism, Zizek., Badiou, Agamben, Derrida, Trías, Vattimo, history, theory and philosophy of history, political theology, ideology criticism
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherBerghahn Books
Number of pages280
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78533-174-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-78533-173-2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameMaking sense of history