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Jewish Messianism and the History of Philosophy

by Martin (Florida State University) Kavka

Jewish Messianism and the History of Philosophy Synopsis

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 anticipation of a future messianic era as well as portraying the subjects intellectual and ethical acts as central in accomplishing redemption. This book envisions Jewish thought as an expression of the intimate relationship between Athens and Jerusalem. It also offers new readings of important figures in contemporary Continental philosophy, critiquing previous arguments about the role of lived religion in the thought of Jacques Derrida, the role of Plato in the thought of Emmanuel Levinas and the centrality of ethics in the thought of Franz Rosenzweig.

Jewish Messianism and the History of Philosophy Press Reviews

'Martin Kavka's Jewish Messianism and the History of Philosophy combines an extraordinary breadth and depth of scholarship with a degree of living thinking and ethical passion that is indeed rare and wonderful. It is framed as a love letter, an invitation to conversation, addressed to a friend, a Rabbi, and to us, his readers. It is an invitation that I take personally.' Kenneth Reinhard, Journal of the History of Philosophy Exceeding all other work on modern Jewish thought, this book engages the history of philosophy and the history of Jewish philosophy. The question of the me on, the not-being, is a central question for both traditions, leading from pre-Socratics,through Plato and Aristotle, and then obsessing certain thinkers until today...[the author's] relentless philosophical voice allows him to delve into extremely complex and challenging questions with astonishing clarity. Because he is asking for a specific purpose, he can plumb the depths of the relation of being and non-being, without drowning the reader in jargon or metaphysical haze. No reader will fail to learn a great deal from his enquiry and his argument. Robert Gibbs, author of Correlations in Rosenzweig and Levinas and Why Ethics? Signs of Responsibilities In our apocalyptic, ironic age, a book about nothing hardly makes us lugh. But Martin Kavka's prodigious wit lightly carries his dense study of meontology, the logic of nonbeing. Broad enough to encompass Husserl and Maimonides, Plotinus and Hermann Cohen, Jewish Messianism and the History of Philosophy will appeal to diverse audiences with uncommon success; and it will reshape even as it reintroduces Judaism into contemporary philosophy and Christian theology. - Gregory Kaplan, Rice University, Modern Theology Martin Kavka's Jewish Messianism and the History of Philosophy combines an extraordinary breadth and depth of scholarship with a degree of living thinking and ethical passion that is indeed rare and wonderful. It is framed as a love letter, an invitation to conversation, addressed to a friend, a Rabbi, and to us, his readers. It is an invitation that I take personally. --Kenneth Reinhard, Journal of the History of Philosophy

Book Information

ISBN: 9780521831031
Publication date: 10th May 2004
Author: Martin (Florida State University) Kavka
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 256 pages
Categories: Judaism, Western philosophy: Ancient, to c 500,

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