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«Prof. Yehoyada Amir Ph.D. is an Associate Professor for Jewish Thought at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem and a ...»

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The culture and philosophy of the 20th century present the philosophical question of truth, its validity, its sources as well as the role it plays

in human behavior in the most challenging of ways. The 20th century

saw the rise of new religious movements that called into question traditional notions of religious faith while considering in new and radical

ways the relation between faith and the presumption of human sovereignty. At the same time, the Jewish people too entered a new age.

Facing such 20th century movements as socialism, nationalism and secularism amidst the need to grapple with events of mass immigration and the challenges of social integration and acculturation, Jews had to rethink their notions of past, present and future, while Jewish philosophers were called upon to re-define the essence and meaning of Jewish life. The essays in this volume present Franz Rosenzweig’s philosophy as one which stands at the nexus of all these questions, showing how it offered new paths of thought for 20th and 21st century Jews, Christians and others.

Prof. Yehoyada Amir Ph.D. is an Associate Professor for Jewish Thought at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem and a board member of the International Rosenzweig Society.

Prof. Yossi (Joseph) Turner Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Modern Jewish Thought and Philosophy at the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem and a member of the Advisory Board of the International Rosenzweig Society.

Dr. Martin Brasser teaches at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences (Switzerland). He is director of the Philosophy+Management PLC and a board member of the International Rosenzweig Society.

Yehoyada Amir Yossi Turner Martin Brasser (Hg.) Faith, Truth, and Reason


Beiträge zur Rosenzweig-Forschung Herausgegeben im Auftrag der Internationalen Rosenzweig-Gesellschaft von Martin Brasser, Norbert Samuelson und Wolfdietrich Schmied-Kowarzik Band 6 Yehoyada Amir Yossi Turner Martin Brasser (Hg.) Faith, Truth, and Reason New Perspectives on Franz Rosenzweig’s »Star of Redemption« Verlag Karl Alber Freiburg / München This publication was made possible due to the generous donation of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.



in der Verlag Herder GmbH, Freiburg im Breisgau 2012 Alle Rechte vorbehalten www.verlag-alber.de Satz: Frank Hermenau, Kassel Druck und Bindung: Difo-Druck, Bamberg Gedruckt auf alterungsbeständigem Papier (säurefrei) Printed on acid-free paper Printed in Germany ISBN 978-3-495-48505-7 Inhalt Forward

Wolfdietrich Schmied-Kowarzik Vom Gottesbeweis zum Erweis Gottes

Yehoyada Amir Rosenzweig’s Büchlein vom gesunden und kranken Menschenverstand as a Prolegomena

Luc Anckaert The Transcendental Possibility of Experience in Rosenzweig and Levinas

Caspar Battegay Kritik des reinen Lebens. Die Rede vom Blut in Franz Rosenzweigs Stern der Erlösung

Hanoch Ben-Pazi

Love Discourse: Rosenzweig vs. Plato. The Banquet:

Song of Songs, the Symposium and the Star of Redemption........ 105 Martin Brasser „… nur das rechte blitzt“. Das Motiv des Angesichts und des Antlitzes im Stern der Erlösung von Franz Rosenzweig.. 125 Ari Bursztein Mending The Star of Redemption in Emil Fackenheim’s Philosophy

–  –  –

Hans Martin Dober Franz Rosenzweigs Der Stern der Erlösung als liturgietheoretische Konzeption

Ottfried Fraisse Das Licht des Geistes und das Licht der Erlösung. Ein Beitrag zum Verhältnis von Idealismus und rabbinischer Tradition in Franz Rosenzweigs Stern der Erlösung

Martin Fricke Tillich und Rosenzweig: Korrelation als Grundfigur neuen Religionsdenkens

Wayne J. Froman The Sense of Creation and Its Role in The Star of Redemption.... 245 Barbara E. Galli Poetics of Time in Rosenzweig and Kafka

Angel E. Garrido-Maturano Das Gebet als ereignishafter Weg zur Wahrheit. Bemerkungen über die Rosenzweigsche Auffassung des Gebetes

Michael Gormann-Thelen „Kugelförmig“ – Der Stern der Erlösung.

Überlieferungsgeschichtliche Randgänge

Irene Kajon

The concept of Vertrauen in The Star of Redemption:

Rosenzweig and Spinoza

Katrin Jona Kirchner Experience, the Principle of Relativity and the Function of Language in the Conceptions of Franz Rosenzweig and Alfred N. Whitehead

–  –  –

Michael Löwy Walter Benjamin and Franz Rosenzweig. Messianism against „Progress“

Zohar Maor Redemption and Law: Rosenzweig’s Critique on Max Brod.......... 391 Barbara U. Meyer Walking the Way of the Star: Paul van Buren

Thomas Meyer Franz Rosenzweig in ausgewählten Theologiediskursen seiner Zeit

Olivia Mitscherlich Glauben und Wissen. Rosenzweigs Entwurf philosophischtheologischer Lebensorientierung

Gesine Palmer „Letztes Erkennen richtet“. Rosenzweigs Begriff von Erkenntnis im Stern und in „Apologetisches Denken“

Michele Del Prete

Über die Wahrheit des gesunden Menschenverstandes:

Zu Rosenzweigs theologia naturalis

Renate Schindler Im Spannungsfeld zwischen Philosophie und Theologie Zu Franz Rosenzweigs Zeittheorie des Wunders und der Erlösung

Yossi Turner Language, Faith and Ethics in Rosenzweig’s Thought and its Implications for Contemporary Society

–  –  –

Jewish Existence in History:

An Inquiry into the Thought of Franz Rosenzweig and Beyond Introduction

Eliezer Schweid Is Franz Rosenweig’s Thought Relevant to Our Time?................. 553 Yossef Schwartz From Religious Pluralism to the Clash of Civilizations The Contemporary Dimension in Rosenzweig’s Philosophy........ 573 Often used abbreviations of Rosenzweig’s Writings

Index of Names

Forward From the outset of Western philosophy, understandings of „truth“ and „reason“ have always been deeply intertwined with ethical questions of good and felicitous life. In certain periods of time, beginning with Plato and Aristotle, ethical behaviour and its corollary – the proper ordering of society – have been viewed as the necessary condition for pursuing an adequate knowledge of truth and the achievement of human intellectual perfection.

Following the adoption of biblical religion – particularly in the Middle Ages – discussions of the relationship obtaining between truth and ethics became bound to the most deep-seated notions of metaphysical reality, human reason and divine will. These discussions were, for the most part, rooted in fundamental theosophical presuppositions pertaining to the existence of an orderly universe that can be known by the human mind even as its basic structure was forever determined by divine will. In this context, the interplay of Faith, Truth and Reason appeared to be forever solidified in the context of classic philosophical understandings in the realm of metaphysics and theology. In this manner, the various understandings of truth and ethics not only remained intimately intertwined but their inner-connectedness appeared to be more formidable than ever, in so far as they were thought to be rooted in the absoluteness of divine being, thought and activity.

Of course, the Kantian revolution which came at the end of the 18'th century did much to dissolve the previous monolithic approach of Western philosophy. It epistemologically limited the ability of „theoretical reason“ to crown its search for truth in the metaphysical realm with any kind of rational certitude, and at the same time separated from that search the basis for ethical activity, relegating ethics to the realm of „practical reason“.

As a result the Kantian revolution re-formulated the tense relationship obtaining between reason and faith; that is – between philosophical speculation and revelation. At the root of this tension there 12 Forward no longer lay a single theoretical context but rather the complex given relationships between moral and religious praxis, on the one hand, and the perceived commanding voices of religion and of ethics, on the other.

An important corollary of this aspect of the Kantian revolution is the redefinition of human existence as determined not so much on the basis of the human power to reason and theorize as on the perception of the human individual as an ethical subject subordinate to the moral law.

Franz Rosenzweig was a rebellious heir of the Western philosophical tradition in general and of the Kantian revolution in particular. He viewed the relationships between cognition and faith anew in the ethical as well as the metaphysical contexts. In the realm of theoretical reason, Rosenzweig – like Kant – limits the anticipated success of philosophical speculation in-so-far as for him it is anchored in a pre-cognitive ground; that is, in the „experience of factuality that is prior to all facts of actual experience“. But Rosenzweig owes a debt of gratitude to Kant in the realm of the ethical as well. For he understands human existence to be unique by virtue of what was previously described as the human ethical stance toward the world, even as he transcends the Kantian position by subsuming the ethical to the „meta-ethical“; thereby enabling him to speak of the human individual as one who not only stands in relation to the world but who may also stand in partnership with God, receive revelation, be transformed from „tragic hero“ to a „soul“, and become a soulful creator of human society who takes part in the process of Redemption through acts of love.

On this ground, Rosenzweig turns previous understandings of the relationship between faith and reason, including the immediately preceding Kantian (and Hegelian) understandings, on their head.

Philosophy, for him, is no longer the „universal“ and „objective“ pole of that which revelation expresses merely in a subjective, personal manner, but is rather seen as a necessary anticipation, a „promise“ of that which faith will fully reveal and realize. Above all, for Rosenzweig, it is the verification of truth [die Bewährung der Wahrheit] in the after-math of revelation; that is, in the fullness of Christian and Jewish life, that becomes the heart of human ethos, replacing in his system the role which ethics has played in traditional philosophies.

Speculation regarding the notion of the good as the basis for ethics, either as an all-comprehensive metaphysical principal or as a Forward 13 hypothesis of practical reason, is here substituted by an existentially known imperative of life, giving the most reliable testimony possible to the „share in truth“ that each individual and the community to which he or she belongs may be party to.

Revelation, for Rosenzweig, is the „I – Thou“ encounter with God.

Faith is that form of re-orienting knowledge that stems from this encounter. It is here that faith opens doors that otherwise would be closed to philosophy. Rather than serve as a worthy but limited anticipation of that which philosophy will formulate in a complete and conceptualized manner, faith now provides the objectivity, stability and universality for that which philosophy would otherwise remain purely speculative and limited.

The unique view of Faith, Truth and Reason formulated by Rosenzweig is, of course, not only a product of his attempt to deal with the problems of modern philosophy left open by the Kantian and subsequent Hegelian systems, but also reflects the historical epoch in which he lived. His magnum opus, The Star of Redemption, as is well known, was written during and immediately following World War I.

Substantially, however, it addresses many of the concerns taken up by the generation that came of age between the catastrophes of WWI and WWII. This is a generation that faced the threat of total collapse of culture, faith, humanism and ethics. It is a generation that was unable or uninterested in preventing the Holocaust and which was ultimately destined to witness Hiroshima.

Rosenzweig’s philosophy is relevant and challenging for the coming generations who have no choice but to confront the task of rebuilding humanity and humanism, civilization and culture, experiencing once again the crumbling of human civilization while apparently lacking the philosophical orientation necessary to constitute a new and more constructive world order.

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