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Religions 2019, 10(2), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020093

Benjamin’s Profane Uses of Theology: The Invisible Organon

1
Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Uriburu 950, 6º Piso, Ciudad de Buenos Aires C1114AAD, Argentina
2
Member of the Carrera del Investigador Científico (CIC), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas (CONICET), Godoy Cruz 2290, Ciudad de Buenos Aires C1425FQB, Argentina
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 27 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Marrano Phenomenon. Jewish ‘Hidden Tradition’ and Modernity)
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Abstract

Invisible, but suggestive and fruitful; deprived of any reference to doctrine or ultimate assertive foundations, but nevertheless used in Benjamin like written images, crystallized as “images of thought”; as doctrinally mute as it is heuristically audible, Benjamin’s use of theology reminds us of the ironical use that Jorge Luis Borges himself made of theology and metaphysics as part of his own poetic forms. As such, these images of thought are located both in the place of philosophical use and in the one of methodological cunning or Metis, across the various levels of the corpus: a metaphysics of experience, literary criticism, philosophy of language, theory of history and Marxism. Therefore, accepting that criticism (Kritik) is the visible organon and the object of Benjaminian philosophy, is not theology, then, its invisible organon? What seems to be particular to Benjamin, however, is the agonistic but nevertheless heuristic way in which he intends to use theology in order to upset, disarray, and deconstruct the established philosophy, and specially its dominant trends in the field of the theory of history: historicism, positivism, and the evolutionary Hegelian–Marxist philosophy of history. In this article we try to demonstrate how this theological perspective is applied to a Benjaminian grammar of time. We conclude agonistically, confronting the resulting Benjaminian notion of historical past against Heiddeger’s own vision of historical time. View Full-Text
Keywords: invisibility; heresy; disguise; disruptive; Marxism; messianism; historical time; past; redemptiveness; language invisibility; heresy; disguise; disruptive; Marxism; messianism; historical time; past; redemptiveness; language
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Naishtat, F. Benjamin’s Profane Uses of Theology: The Invisible Organon. Religions 2019, 10, 93.

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