Week of Jewish Philosophy, CU Luncheon "Is Messianic Hope Worthwhile? The Case of Jacob Taubes"

Past event

The DU-CU Week of Jewish Philosophy Presents:

"Is Messianic Hope Worthwhile? The Case of Jacob Taubes"

with Prof. Martin Kavka, Florida State University

Thursday, April 26, 2018 • 11:30-1:00pm

Seminar + Lunch @ CU Boulder; 2nd floor Eaton Humanities - HUMN 250

Space is limited; RSVP to CUJewishStudies@colorado.edu

One needs only to go to a news website—any news website—to tap into hope for something better. In the language of the Jewish and Christian traditions, this hope has often been expressed as a hope for redemption, as a specifically messianic hope. The mid-twentieth century saw a debate about whether such hope was worthwhile, with the influential historian of Jewish mysticism Gershom Scholem (1897–1982) arguing for a cautious embrace of messianism as a historical force, and his erstwhile friend Jacob Taubes (1923–1987), one of the post-Holocaust era’s most controversial and notorious rabbis, arguing against this attitude. This seminar will assess Taubes's response to Scholem, and its implicit charge that Judaism should be more like Christianity.

Martin Kavka is Professor of Religion at Florida State University, where he teaches courses in Jewish studies and the philosophy of religion. He is the author of Jewish Messianism and the History of Philosophy (Cambridge University Press), which was awarded the first Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in Philosophy and Jewish Thought by the Association for Jewish Studies (2008), and the co-editor of five books, including Judaism, Liberalism, and Political Theology (Indiana University Press), as well as the co-editor of the Journal of Religious Ethics.

Presented by CU’s Program in Jewish Studies & DU’s Center for Judaic Studies; Co-Sponsored by the DU-Iliff Joint Doctoral Program in the Study of Religion, DU’s Department of Philosophy & CU’s Department of Religious Studies