In response to the grim realities of the present world Jewish thought has not tended to retreat into eschatological fantasy, but rather to project utopian visions precisely on to the present moment, envisioning redemptions that are concrete, immanent, and necessarily political in nature. In difficult times and through shifting historical contexts, the messianic hope in the Jewish tradition has functioned as a political vision: the dream of a peaceful kingdom, of a country to return to, or of a leader who will administer justice among the nations. Against this background, it is unsurprising that Jewish messianism in modern times has been transposed, and lives on in secular political movements and ideologies.
The purpose of this book is to contribute to the deeper understanding of the relationship between Jewish thought, utopia, and revolution, by taking a fresh look at its historical and religious roots. We approach the issue from several perspectives, with differences of opinion presented both in regard to what Jewish tradition is, and how to regard utopia and revolution. These notions are multifaceted, comprising aspects such as political messianism, religious renewal, Zionism, and different forms of Marxist and Anarchistic movements.
The purpose of this book is to advance responsible rehabilitation of the speculative philosophy of history. It challenges the idea popularized by thinkers such as and Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jean-François Lyotard that historical meta-mythology and meta-narrative are philosophically obsolete. As long as humanity, viewed anthropologically, lives by over-arching narrative, the quest for a version that survives rational criticism remains vital. Here human rights serve as the key to unlock such a version. Despite the fact that the Hegelian philosophy of history has often been derided, something very similar currently functions as the official ideology of the world community: the idea of history as the story of freedom. This book does not retell the world-historical story of freedom. Rather, it uncovers it, beginning with the current age of human rights and working backward through the great role-model civilizations of history. Its conclusion is that a forward retelling of the story of freedom as the story of human rights can be justified by dewesternizing the story. The book contains critical responses from specialized scholars and re-presentative of selected world cultures. The volume includes illustrations, and a guest Afterword by Donald Phillip Verene. It is a companion-volume to the author's
Hegel's Logic: Between History and Dialectic (North-western University Press, 1996).
For the time being African philosophy is treated regularly in research and in teaching at two European scientific institutions: at the University of Vienna and at Erasmus University Rotterdam. In October 1993 there have been held two conferences of Western and African philosophers at both universities. Eleven African and nine Western scholars participated as speakers in these conferences. Four African speakers gave lectures at the Vienna and at the Rotterdam conference. The Vienna conference dealt with general questions of postcolonial philosophy in Africa. The conference at Rotterdam focused on the processes of democratization in African countries since 1989. This volume contains the papers of both conferences.
En ce moment la philosophie Africaine est traité regulièrement dans les recherches et dans l'enseignement à deux instituts scientifiques Européens: à l'Université de Vienne et à l'Université Erasme de Rotterdam. En Octobre 1993 deux conférences de philosophes Occidentals et Africains ont été organisé aux deux universités. Onze savants Africans et neuf savants Occidentals ont participé à ces deux conférences. Quatre savants Africains ont présenté des communications à tous les deux conférences de Vienne et de Rotterdam. La conférence Viennoise s'occupait de questions générales de la philosophie postcoloniale en Afrique. La conférence de Rotterdam focusait aux procès de démocratisation dans des pays africains depuis 1989. Se trouvent en ce volume les contributions à les deux conférences.