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The Star of Redemption (Modern Jewish Philosophy & Religion: Translations & Critical Studies) Paperback – 30 Apr 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press (30 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299207242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299207243
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 587,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"While not claiming final truth, the chapters of "Star of Redemption "provide a balanced approach, asking questions of origins, religious and historic traditions, and the influence of Jewish and non-Jewish traditions on one another. As such, the volume has contributed enormously to the direction of contemporary ecumenical dialogues." --"Religious Studies Review" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Franz Rosenzweig (1886-1929) helped establish Das freie judische Lehrhaus (Free House of Jewish Learning) in Frankfurt-am-Main. Rosenzweig is one of the greatest contributors to Jewish philosophy in the twentieth century.

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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
Stick with the old translation 2 Feb. 2009
By Neddhartha - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was first translated into English by William W. Hallo and published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., in 1971. It was republished in 1985 by the University of Notre Dame Press, and is still available directly from UNDP at [...] (It is not currently listed on Amazon.) In 2005 the Barbara E. Galli translation appeared.

The book as written in the original German is indeed a formidable work. This is because Rosenzweig was able to assume a level of education in his post-World-War-One audience that hardly survives today. He often does not name his sources directly, for example alluding to Goethe's "Faust" throughout the book without citing it explicitly. The same goes for figures in the history of philosophy and theology.

Thus any translation is a daunting task, as the translator must understand not just Rosenzweig himself, but the cultural tradition he constantly refers to. Add to this that Rosenzweig was a true master of the German language, able to use all its resources and refinements, and you have a job that would send most translators running for the exits.

The Hallo translation certainly has its faults, but I would maintain that it is still the best choice for anyone who cannot read Rosenzweig in the original. I will give an example.

In Part One, Introduction, "On the Possibility of the Cognition of the All", heading "Man", subheading "Metaethics", we find the following sentence:

"Die Ethik, mochte sie noch so sehr grundsätzlich der Tat eine Sonderstellung allem Sein gegenüber geben wollen, riß in der Ausführung gleichwohl mit Notwendigkeit die Tat wieder hinein in den Kreis des wißbaren All; jede Ethik mündete schließlich wieder in eine Lehre von der Gemeinsachaft als einem Stück Sein."

This is rendered by Hallo as, "In principle ethics might assign to action a special status as against all being; no matter: in practice it drew action, of necessity as it were, back into the orbit of the cognitive All. Every ethics ultimately reconverged with a doctrine of the community as a unit of being."

For this same passage, Galli gives us: "If fundamentally it wanted to give a particular place of action in relation to all being, ethics could only reintegrate the action by the same necessity into the circle of the knowable All at the moment it elaborated it; every ethics ended by emerging again in a doctrine of the community that forms a part of being."

First of all, Galli confuses simple German grammar. "Der Tat eine Sonderstellung geben" means "to give the act (or action) a special position", not "to give a particular place of action". And in this instance "Stellung" is definitely not "place", but position or, as Hallo has it, status.

Then there are the phrases "reintegrate the action" and "at the moment it elaborated it". Neither of these is in the original German at all. They are both "hineininterpretiert" (interpreted into) Rosenzweig by some mysterious process of Galli's own devising. Likewise, "by the same necessity" should be simply "necessity" - there is no word that means "same" in Rosenzweig's German.

Try reading both the Hallo and the Galli version of this passage aloud, and ask yourself which makes more sense. I regret to say that for this reviewer, the Galli attempt is simply incomprehensible.

As a professional translator, I feel obliged to give my own version of the passage. Here it is: "No matter how fundamentally ethics might have wanted to grant the act a special position vis-à-vis the whole of being, nevertheless in practice it pulled the act, of necessity, back into the circle of the knowable All. Every ethics ultimately flowed back into a doctrine of the community in its role as part of being."

Until someone with a better grasp of German comes along to supersede Galli, you'll be better off with the often affected but still more reliable Hallo translation.
32 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Key text of 20th century Jewish philosophy 18 Feb. 2000
By J. Michaelson - Published on
Format: Paperback
Franz Rosenzweig is among the most important figures in Jewish, and general, philosophy of the 20th century. His ideas on particularity, contingency, and responsibility influenced Heidegger, Levinas, Derrida, Buber, and countless others, while his theology of creation-revelation-redemption informs a fascinating depiction of Judaism. It's not easy reading and although not a clear translation, this is the one there is.
Three Stars 10 Mar. 2015
By Robert Elkins - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Delivery satisfactory. The book itself is mediocre, no fault of the seller.
Five Stars 11 Aug. 2014
By James - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantastic and fascinating book. Fast delivery as well!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good!!! 14 Dec. 2012
By ebelula - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
El libro llegó en el tiempo estimadoProducto en muy buen estado,No hay queja alguna o reclamo, todo en orden Recomiendo
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