By David Janssens
Examines the early works of German-Jewish political thinker Leo Strauss (1899-1973).
Read Online or Download Between Athens and Jerusalem: Philosophy, Prophecy, and Politics in Leo Strauss's Early Thought PDF
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Additional info for Between Athens and Jerusalem: Philosophy, Prophecy, and Politics in Leo Strauss's Early Thought
This helps explain why, in his early writings, Strauss maintained a critical distance with regard to both Rosenzweig and Buber in his attempt to balance postcritical theology and political Zionism. Quaestio Iuris : The Legacy of Spinoza The project, however, never gets past this first step, and is never systematically elaborated. After 1925, both Dubnow and the new theologians disappear completely from Strauss’s writings, as does the attempt to do justice to both the Jewish content and political Zionism.
On the one hand, the Jewish people cannot survive without politics: the closed world of faith and galut has been definitely and irretrievably destroyed by modern science and modern politics. 41 This claim, however, inevitably points back to religion, which, properly understood, is apolitical and even 18 BETWEEN ATHENS AND JERUSALEM excludes politics. ”42 As his early writings show, his vigorous attempts to keep the two questions separate only reveal a more profound interrelatedness. That Strauss was aware of this is borne out by the fact that in his early writings, he explores the possibilities of doing justice to both the principles of modern science and modern politics and the demands of the Jewish legacy, without resorting to halfhearted and inconsistent compromises or syntheses.
It has the character of a compelling, anomalistic call, to which man must respond in an unconditional love for God in order to learn to recognize and love his fellow man. Rosenzweig added to Buber’s contribution by pointing out that the individual rediscovery of the immediate experience of God did not suffice to warrant a return to tradition. It was also necessary to be attentive to the traces of this experience that are to be found in the Bible. 51 All arguments the philosophic tradition had mustered against revelation had missed their mark.