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To Carl Schmitt: Letters and Reflections (Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture) [Hardcover]

Jacob Taubes

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Book Description

21 May 2013 Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture
A philosopher, rabbi, religious historian, and Gnostic, Jacob Taubes was for many years a correspondent and interlocutor of Carl Schmitt (1888--1985), a German jurist, philosopher, political theorist, law professor -- and self-professed Nazi. Despite their unlikely association, Taubes and Schmitt shared an abiding interest in the fundamental problems of political theology, believing the great challenges of modern political theory were ancient in pedigree and, in many cases, anticipated the works of Judeo-Christian eschatologists. In this collection of Taubes's writings on Schmitt, the two intellectuals work through ideas of the apocalypse and other central concepts of political theology. Taubes acknowledges Schmitt's reservations about the weakness of liberal democracy yet distances himself from his prescription to rectify it, arguing the apocalyptic worldview requires less of a rigid hierarchical social ordering than a community committed to the importance of decision making. In these writings, a sharper and more nuanced portrait of Schmitt's thought emerges, as well as a more complicated understanding of Taubes, who has shaped the work of Giorgio Agamben, Peter Sloterdijk, and other major twentieth-century theorists.

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About the Author

Jacob Taubes (1923--1987) was professor of Jewish studies and hermeneutics at the Free University of Berlin. His books include From Cult to Culture: Fragments Toward a Critique of Historical Reason; Occidental Eschatology; and The Political Theology of Paul. Keith Tribe is an independent scholar and the author of Strategies of Economic Order: German Economics, 1750--1950. He is also the translator of works by Reinhart Koselleck and Wilhelm Hennis. Mike Grimshaw is associate professor in sociology at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arch-Jew and (obligatory) Anti-Semite: BFFs 3 May 2013
By Rowan G. Tepper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An extraordinarily pleasant and engaging read. Jacob Taubes explains his frenemy-relationship with Carl Schmitt. This book sheds new light upon the problematics of the (Hegelian-Kojèvean) End of History, of political theology vis-a-vis an occidental eschatology of counter-revolution latent in Schmitt's work and thought. Taubes recounts several profoundly fascinating anecdotes which shed new light on figures such as Alexandre Kojève, Walter Benjamin & Heidegger; Taubes' recollections also bring to light certain connections between Schmitt, Orthodox Judaism and the Rise of the American Academic right - and on the constitution of the Israeli state.

Taubes, the Radical Arch-Jew, and Schmitt, the Reactionary Anti-Semite: BFFs in a silent dialogue.
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