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The Star of Redemption by Franz Rosenzweig
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The Star of Redemption (1921)

by Franz Rosenzweig

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Franz Rosenzweigprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hallo, William W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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FROM INSIDE SLEEVE:

The editor of Commentary's symposium on contemporary Jewish belief concluded: "The single greatest influence on the religious thought of North American Jewry ... is a German Jew - a layman, not a rabbi - who died before Hitler took power and who came to Judaism from the very portals of the Church." He was referring to Franz Rosenzweig, whose major work, The Star of Redemption, is widely recognized as a key document of modern existential thought and the most significant contribution to Jewish theology in the twentieth century.

The Star of Redemption was begun in 1918 in the Balkan trenches, where Rosenzweig was serving with the German army, and was written on army postal cards which he sent to his mother. The work embodies an attack on Hegel, German idealism, and any philosophy that would not give priority to being before thought; at an even deeper level, it represents the result of a long interior debate in which Rosenzweig, who had seriously considered conversion to Christianity, experiences a special "closeness to God" after attending a Day of Atonement service in a traditional synagogue in Berlin in 1913.

Rosenzweig's presentation of Judaism and Christianity "as equally 'true' and valid views of reality" helped lay the groundwork for today's religious dialogue, and his account of the rhythm of the holy days within the Jewish liturgical calendar is unsurpassed. Creation, revelation, and redemption are the "paths" he presents, always linking them with the primary "elements" - man, world, and God. Pictorially, each trip is represented by a triangle; combined, they form a six-pointed star from which the title of the book derives.

Franz Rosenzweig was born into an assimilated, well-to-do Jewish family in Cassel, Germany in 1886, and studied at the Universities of Berlin, Freiburg, and Leipzig. In addition to The Star of Redemption, he published a two-volume study of Hegel's political philosophy and helped to found a highly influential institute for adult Jewish studies in Frankfurt. His collaboration with Martin Buber on a translation of the Hebrew Bible is considered the finest in German since Martin Luther's.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0268017182, Paperback)

The Star of Redemption is widely recognized as a key document of modern existential thought and a significant contribution to Jewish theology in the twentieth century. An affirmation of what Rosenzweig called "the new thinking," the work ensconces common sense in the place of abstract, conceptual philosophizing and posits the validity of the concrete, individual human being over that of "humanity" in general. Fusing philosophy and theology, it assigns both Judaism and Christianity distinct but equally important roles in the spiritual structure of the world, and finds in both biblical religions approaches toward a comprehension of reality.

"Franz Rosenzweig’s The Start of Redemption is one of the few lasting books of our century, a work whose originality transcends the disciplinary limits of philosophy and religion and which must be read by anyone whose concern with the meaning of daily life is urgent and abiding." —Maurice Natanson, Yale University

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:00 -0400)

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