Depeche Mode. Jacob Taubes between Politics, Philosophy, and Religion


Jacob Taubes is one of the most significant intellectual figures in the more recent German intellectual scene—and beyond. However, Taubes was either dismissed as a highly controversial character, or as a mere commentator of ongoing debates, or the reception was restricted to his considerations on religion and the ambivalences of secularity. This volume challenges these reductions by putting Taubes' original, albeit marginalised, texts into new, sometimes surprising contexts. Furthermore, it relates familiar topics in his oeuvre to lesser-known themes that are still highly pertinent for contemporary discussions on faith, modernity, and the limits of politics.

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Herbert Kopp-Oberstebrink is a freelance researcher, author, editor, and translator. He holds a PhD in Philosophy and formerly worked as a researcher and lecturer at the Freie University Berlin, Humboldt University Berlin, Moses-Mendelsohn-Center Potsdam, Leipzig University, and Center for Literature and Cultural Research Berlin.
Hartmut von Sass is Professor for Systematic Theology and Philosophy of Religion as well as Heisenberg Scholar at Humboldt University in Berlin. He holds a PhD and a habilitation from the University of Zurich, where he taught at the Faculty of Theology and served as director of the Collegium Helveticum, an interdisciplinary research center. He held visiting positions at Claremont, Oxford, Pasadena, and Berkeley. His most recent monograph is A Philosophy of Comparisons. Theory, Practice, and the Limits of Ethics (Bloomsbury 2021).

List of Figures

Notes on Contributors

Introduction Jacob Taubes between Politics, Philosophy, and Religion
  Herbert Kopp-Oberstebrink & Hartmut von Sass

1 Taubes’s Jüdischkeit, or How One Led a Jewish Life in Post-Holocaust Germany
  Martin Treml

2 Depeche Mode Jacob Taubes and His Style
  Hartmut von Sass

3 Jacob Taubes, the Jewish Hegelian
  Agata Bielik-Robson

4 Jacob Taubes Messianism and Political Theology after the Shoah
  Elettra Stimilli

5 The Boredom of “Pure Philosophy” Jacob Taubes, Academic Philosophy, and the Challenge of Theologico-Philosophical Intervention
  Herbert Kopp-Oberstebrink

6 Between Fascination and Compulsive Schmittian Reading The Traces of Walter Benjamin in Jacob Taubes’s Writings
  Sigrid Weigel

7 From Heaven above and Hell below On the Social Scientific Task of Translating ‘Gnosis’
  Christian Zolles

8 Gnosis and the Covert Theology of Antitheology Heidegger, Apocalypticism, and Gnosticism in Susan and Jacob Taubes
  Elliot R. Wolfson

9 Taubes and Secularization
  Gabriel Motzkin


Philosophers, theologians, scholars of religion, sociologists, political theorists.
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