Messianic Thought outside Theology

Messianic Thought outside Theology

Messianic Thought outside Theology

Messianic Thought outside Theology

Synopsis

Why did a "secularized" concept of messianicity seem so crucial in the twentieth century? Are messianic structures intelligible outside the theological systems in which they were invented? This book seeks to situate the ethical, ontological, and literary adoptions of messianism within thebroader contours of messianic thought.The gesture by Benjamin, Rosenzweig, and others of detaching messianism from the person of the messiah, understanding it instead as a redemptive potential inherent in all human history, is one facet of a broad move in political theory, philosophy, linguistics, and historiography to redeem secularthinking through theological figures.Yet already within religious discourse the messiah figure is paradoxical. With the invocation of a future arrival "to come," history is opened, yet the previous assumption of an end threatens to shut it off from whatever unexpected might come. The coming arrival, so certain, so complete, will havealready come in an anteriority that seems to cancel the future and close down historical life before it starts.

Excerpt

The Messianic Remainder

A minor genre has been taking shape in cultural theory and philosophy: essays and books have been being written whose centerpiece is talk about messiahs. This development will not seem so surprising if the new genre is assimilated to the “turn to” or “return of” religion that has come to be thought of as a key to understanding our contemporary situation. Taken as part of this larger movement, messianic theory—or, as it might be called, epimessianic theory, since it purports to come after traditional messianisms and to resolve some of the dilemmas posed by them—can be studied alongside other theologoumena and religious phenomena such as faith, ritual, scripture, and so forth, themes and concepts that have come back to critical consciousness within the framework of the return of religion. This essay collection is then part of the return to religion and part of its analysis, which began at least a decade ago. It is part of it and not part of it. As part of it, the collection analyzes or summarizes a sub-concern within the broader field: It tracks attempts to redeem messianic figures from defunct theological constructs and it shows how the theological or the religious . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.