Special Issue "Heidegger and Jewish Thought: In Search of the Same Difference"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2021).
In recent years, the topic of Heidegger’s flirtation with the right-wing politics of National Socialism has commanded much attention in scholarly and poular media, provoked by the publication of the Black Notebooks from the 1930s and 1940s. The notebooks not only confirm the well-known fact concerning Heidegger’s support for the Nazi Party and his initial entusiasm for and gradual disappointment with Hitler’s agenda, but they also demonstrate that, on occasion, Heidegger vilified Jews and Judaism, using stereotypical tropes such as world Jewry or the homeless and nomadic status of the Jews. Without minimizing the significance of Heidegger’s disparaging remarks about Judaism and his moral failings related to his affiliation with and approval of Nazi ideology, of late, there have been a number of scholars who have begun to explore Heidegger’s relationship to Judaism from different and broader perspectives. This Special Issue seeks to encourage further research in this area, framed by the assumption that the comparative methodology exposes a divergence in the convergence, a disjunction in the conjunction. The guide here is Heidegger’s own distinction between the same and the identical: the former preserves difference, whereas the latter eradicates it. The influence of and affinities between Heideggerian and Jewish thought relate to such topics as homeland, language, and peoplehood, as well as the notion of historical time as the simultaneity of past, present, and future, and the discernment that evil is part of and is not antithetical to good. Rather than demonizing Heidegger in a manner that smacks of the very absolutism, despotism, and homogenization that many find so offensive about the fascist creed that Heidegger unwisely embraced at a crucial moment in his development as a thinker, the juxtaposition of Heidegger and Jewish philosophy, ostensibly incongruent fields of discourse, will enhance our understanding of both, thereby illustrating the redemptive capacity of thought to yield new configurations of the unthought colluding on disparate paths of contemplative thinking.
Prof. Dr. Elliot Wolfson
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Jewish theology
- Jewish philosophy