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Rosenzweig, Franz (1886–1929)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-J041-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 18, 2024, from

Article Summary

An outstanding Hegel scholar – his Hegel und der Staat (Hegel and the State) (1920) remains a standard work on Hegel’s political philosophy – Franz Rosenzweig elaborated, in Der Stern der Erlösung (The Star of Redemption) (1921) and several articles – notably, his 1925 article ‘Das neue Denken’ (’The New Thinking’) – a philosophy of revelation that breaks with the systematic and rationalistic premises of German Idealism. The nisus of Rosenzweig’s New Thinking was formulated as early as 1917, in a letter containing the germ (Urzelle) of Der Stern: ‘after reason, ‘‘philosophical reason’’, has absorbed everything in itself’, Rosenzweig writes, ‘after it has proclaimed its sole existence, man suddenly discovers that he is still here, although he was digested long ago…. I am still here, I – plain, private subject, with first and last name, I – dust and ashes…. Individuum ineffabile triumphans. How can this be? The human being, Rosenzweig explains, can acquire personal identity as an individual only through the call, that is, the revelation of the Other: God – but also, some other human being. Dialogue, communication in language, comes to the fore in this philosophy, developed around the same time as Martin Buber’s Ich und Du (I and Thou) (1923). Often treated as a common ground and basis for understanding between Jews and Christians, Der Stern der Erlösung is a major source of inspiration for such contemporary philosophers as Lévinas and is widely regarded as a masterpiece of Jewish philosophy.

Citing this article:
Bienenstock, Myriam. Rosenzweig, Franz (1886–1929), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-J041-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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