Hans Jonas (1903-1993) was one of the most creative and original Jewish thinkers of the twentieth-century. This volume offers a retrospective of Jonas's life and works by bringing together historians of modern Germany, Judaica scholars, philosophers, bioethicists, and environmentalists to reflect on the meaning of his legacy today. From a historian of religions, who wrote a path-breaking monograph on Gnosticism, Jonas turned to the philosophy of nature, extending his existential philosophy and phenomenological analysis to include all forms of life. Unique among twentieth-century Jewish philosophers, Jonas argued for the possibility of a genuinely symbiotic relationship between humanity and nature, which he believed had been suppressed by modern technology. Jonas spoke against the human domination of nature on the basis of Jewish sources, especially the Bible and Lurianic Kabbalah, and he was among the first to define the ethical challenges that modern technology poses to humanity.
Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, Ph.D. (1978) in Philosophy and Mysticism, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is professor of History, Director of Jewish Studies, and Irving and Miriam Lowe Professor of Modern Judaism at Arizona State University. She has published extensively on Jewish intellecutal history, including Happiness in
Premodern Judaism: Virtue, Knowledge, and Well-Being (Hebrew Union College Press, 2003).
Christian Wiese, Ph.D. (1997), is Director of the Centre for German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex and taught at Erfurt University, in Montreal and Dublin, as well as at Dartmouth College. He has published extensively on modern Jewish history and thought, including
Challenging Colonial Discourse: Jewish Studies and Protestant Theology in Wilhelmine Germany (Brill, 2005).
Preface Understanding Jonas: An Interdisciplinary Project
Hava Tirosh-Samuelson Introduction Ethics after Auschwitz: Hans Jonas’s Notion of Responsibility in a Technological Age
Richard Wolin PART ONE: A GERMAN-JEWISH INTELLECTUAL Chapter One Hans Jonas’s Position in the History of German Philosophy
Vittorio Hösle Chapter Two Hans Jonas in Marburg, 1928
Steven M. Wasserstrom Chapter Three
Ressentiment—A Few Motifs in Hans Jonas’s Early Book on Gnosticism
Micha Brumlik Chapter Four Hans Jonas and Research on Gnosticism from a Contemporary Perspective
Kurt Rudolph Chapter Five Pauline Theology in the Weimar Republic: Hans Jonas, Karl Barth, and Martin Heidegger
Benjamin Lazier Chapter Six Despair and Responsibility: Affinities and Differences in the Thought of Hans Jonas and Günther Anders
Konrad Paul Liessmann Chapter Seven Ernst Bloch’s
Prinzip Hoffnung and Hans Jonas’s
Prinzip Verantwortung Michael Löwy Chapter Eight Zionism, the Holocaust, and Judaism in a Secular World: New Perspectives on Hans Jonas’s Friendship with Gershom Scholem and Hannah Arendt
Christian Wiese Chapter Nine The Immediacy of Encounter and the Dangers of Dichotomy: Buber, Levinas, and Jonas on Responsibility
Micha H. Werner Chapter Ten Hans Jonas and Secular Religiosity
Ron Margolin PART TWO: THE PHENOMENON OF LIFE AND THE THREAT OF EXTINCTION: THEORETICAL BIOLOGY, BIOETHICS, AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHY Chapter Eleven Hans Jonas and Ernst Mayr: On Organic Life and Human Responsibility
Strachan Donnelley Chapter Twelve Natural-Law Judaism?: The Genesis of Bioethics in Hans Jonas, Leo Strauss, and Leon Kass
Lawrence Vogel Chapter Thirteen Cloning and Corporeality
Bernard G. Prusak Chapter Fourteen Reason and Feeling in Hans Jonas’s Existential Biology, Arne Naess’s Deep Ecology, and Spinoza’s
Ethics Martin D. Yaffe Chapter Fifteen Caretaker or Citizen: Hans Jonas, Aldo Leopold, and the Development of Jewish Environmental Ethics
Lawrence Troster Chapter Sixteen Jonas, Whitehead, and the Problem of Power
Sandra B. Lubarsky Chapter Seventeen “God’s Adventure with the World” and “Sanctity of Life”: Theological Speculations and Ethical Reflections in Jonas’s Philosophy after Auschwitz
Christian Wiese Chapter Eighteen Infants, Paternalism, and Bioethics: Japan’s Grasp of Jonas’s Insistence on Intergenerational Responsibility
William R. LaFleur PART THREE: RESPONSES AND REFLECTIONS Chapter Nineteen Reflections on the Place of Gnosticism and Ethics in the Thought of Hans Jonas
Kalman P. Bland Chapter Twenty On Making Persons: Philosophy of Nature and Ethics
Frederick Ferré Chapter Twenty-One Philosophical Biology and Environmentalism
Carl Mitcham Chapter Twenty-Two More on Jonas and Process Philosophy
Robert Cummings Neville Hans Jonas: Life and Works
All those interested in Jewish intellectual history, German-Jewish history and culture, environmental thought, process theology and philosophy, post-Holocaust theology, bioethics.