Week of Jewish Philosophy, DU Seminar "Walter Benjamin's Messianic Conception of History"

Past event

The DU-CU Week of Jewish Philosophy Presents:

"Walter Benjamin’s Messianic Conception of History"

with Prof. Martin Kavka, Florida State University

Faculty & Graduate Seminar @ University of Denver

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 • 4:30-6:30pm

Space is limited; Location & readings made available upon RSVP to cjs@du.edu

We customarily think of the Messiah as someone who brings perfection to the world, whether it be the political sovereignty of the Davidic king, or the redeeming presence of the messiah to come in the future. One of the twentieth century’s most intriguing thinkers, Walter Benjamin (1892–1940), argued that this usual notion of the Messiah made little sense, and that instead we should think of the messianic as associated with the passing away from the world, and therefore with a kind of nihilism. This seminar will take up this argument through a close reading of Benjamin's short "Theological-Political Fragment" (1921).

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