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Franz Rosenzweig: a Hebrew philosopher. On the old roots of the new thinking


Michał Węcławski

Subject and Keywords:

Rosenzweig ; Hebrew thought ; Jewish philosophy ; new thinking ; Athens and Jerusalem ; Star of Redemption ; love ; philosophy of dialogue ; creation ; Revelation ; Salvation


A well known opposition between Athens and Jerusalem, Hellenism and Hebraism – despite simplifications it entails – helps to comprehend and explain the heterogeneous form of European thought throughout its history. It can be particularly useful in dealing with the philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig, whose genius and unquestionable originality had not emerged from an ideological void. His project of expressing „the new thinking in the old words” is about something more than just overcoming the impotence of previous philosophy in categories it used to elaborate; for here the old words are being animated by a spirit even older. The article endeavors to follow Rosenzweig's thought „from death into life” (vom Tode ins Leben) on a threefold path of Creation, Revelation and Salvation. It aims at highlighting compliance as well as differences between Rosenzweig's ideas and the Hebrew way of thinking, and putting them together so that they could illuminate each other. It is shown as essential for this thought to appreciate the world, which, having been created by God and experienced by man, turns out to be filled with meaning. It sees value in the concrete against the general, in time, motion and change against eternity; devoted to life, it prefers action rather than contemplation and does not seek invisible essences in what can be seen. Above all it is aware, however, that God the Creator is always a creator of somebody or something and that he is therefore God to somebody or something and that only in relation can the multitude eventually become united.

Place of publishing:



Wydawnictwo CHRONICON

Date issued:


Resource Type:



ISBN 978-83-947634-0-4

Bibliographic citation:

Bóg-człowiek-świat : szkice z myśli filozoficznej Franza Rosenzweiga/ pod red. Dominiki Jacyk. - Wrocław : Wydawnictwo Chronicom, 2017. - S. 49-80. ISBN 978-83-947634-0-4



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© Copyright by Michał Węcławski

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