14. Januar 2013: Vortrag von Prof. Dr. Richard Wolin

Apocalypse Now: Walter Benjamin and the Legacy of Jewish Secular Messianism

Walter Benjamin's essay on the "Kritik der Gewalt" has had a curious afterlife. When it first appeared in 1921, it passed almost unnoticed. However, following the collapse of communism, among proponents of the Cultural Left it acquired a canonical salience, in large measure owing to Jacques Derrida's systematic reliance on it in "The Force of Law: the Mystical Foundation of Political Authority" (1994). However, many of these later interpretations have overlooked the pivotal role that Benjamin's justification of "divine violence" played in his early attempts to revivify political theology, in "Kritik der Gewalt" and related texts. Finally, what does it tell us about the impasses and confusions of the political present that Benjamin's 1921 text has become, in certain quarters, a major ethico-political point of reference? Many of these issues revolve around the question of the role that political theology might play in contemporary "post-secular" societies.

Richard Wolin ist Distinguished Professor of History at the CUNY Graduate Center, New York.

Zeit: Montag, 14. Januar 2013, 18 c.t.
Ort: Campus Westend, NG, Raum 1.701