Rosenzweig on Human Redemption: Neither Nothing nor Everything, but Only Something

In: The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
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  • 1 University of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
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Despite Franz Rosenzweig’s unequivocal condemnation of Gershom Scholem, his own view of the world and the possibility of human redemption therein is in some respect very close to the nihilistic sensibility and its gnostic underpinning. Although Rosenzweig obviously did not consider himself either a nihilist or a gnostic, the latter term can well be applied even to Rosenzweig’s mature speculation in The Star of Redemption and other writings from the 1920s. In spite of his initial rejection of negative theology in the Star, the swerve of Rosenzweig’s path winds its way to an apophasis of the apophasis, a turn that is encapsulated in the astounding statement, “That God is nothing becomes just as much a figurative sentence as the other one, that he is truth.”

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