The Weimar Moment’s evocative assault on closure and political reaction, its offering of democracy against the politics of narrow self-interest cloaked in nationalist appeals to Volk and “community” – or, as would be the case in Nazi Germany, “race” – cannot but appeal to us today. This appeal –its historical grounding and content, its complexities and tensions, its variegated expressions across the networks of power and thought – is the essential context of the present volume, whose basic premise is unhappiness ...
The Weimar Moment’s evocative assault on closure and political reaction, its offering of democracy against the politics of narrow self-interest cloaked in nationalist appeals to Volk and “community” – or, as would be the case in Nazi Germany, “race” – cannot but appeal to us today. This appeal –its historical grounding and content, its complexities and tensions, its variegated expressions across the networks of power and thought – is the essential context of the present volume, whose basic premise is unhappiness with Hegel’s remark that we learn no more from history than we cannot learn from it. The challenge of the papers in this volume is to provide the material to confront the present effectively drawing from what we can and do understand.
Weimar’s ghostly presence is brought home, in its range and continuing relevance, in this splendid array of carefully crafted and integrated essays. It is a singular addition to the literature.
[T]he book, with its treasure trove of footnotes, is a fascinating and informative documentation of a period in European history whose relevance to the present should never have been missed. The editors are to be congratulated for producing this excellent critique.
Leonard V. Kaplan is Mortimer M. Jackson Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Rudy Koshar is the George L. Mosse WARF Professor of History, German & Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and professor of religion at Columbia University. He is the author of 14 books including Imperial Designs: Neoconservatism adn the New Paz Americana. He frequently lectures to universities, conferences, civic groups, and religious communities
I. Political Theologies
Chapter 1: Protestant Revolt Against Modernity by Klaus Tanner
Chapter 2: Catholic Anti-Liberalism in the Weimar Republic: Political Theology
and its Criticsby Michael Hollerich
Chapter 3: “Together a Step Towards the Messianic Goal”: Jewish-Protestant
Encounter in the Weimar Republic by Ulrich Rosenhagen
Chapter 4: Hannah Arendt in Weimar: Beyond the Theological-Political
Predicament? by Rodrigo Chacón
Chapter 5: Walter Benjamin, Religion, and a Theological Politics, ca. 1922 by Michael Jennings
Chapter 6: The Creaturely Limits of Knowledge: Martin Heidegger’s Theological Critique of Immanuel Kant by Samuel Moyn and Azzan Yadin-Israel
Chapter 7: Politics, Theology, Race, and Religion: The 1916-1924 Dialogue of
Franz Rosenzweig and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy by Gregory Kaplan
Chapter 8: Authority Beyond the Bounds of Mere Reason: A Political-Theological Sketch of the Schmitt-Strauss Exchange by John McCormick
Chapter 9: The Political from Weimar to the Present by Leonard Kaplan
II. Karl Barth
Chapter 10: Barthian Dialectics: “Yes” and “No” on the Barthian Revolt and its Legacy by Gary Dorrien
Chapter 11: Karl Barth and the Weimar Republic by Christophe Chalamet
Chapter 12: Theology’s Weimar Moment: History before the Eschatological Limit by Michael McGillen
Chapter 13: Barth Among Anselm and Augustine: Realism in Karl Barth’s
Anselm Commentary by Carl Rasmussen
Chapter 14: Demythologizing the Secular: Karl Barth and the Politics of the
Weimar Republic by Rudy Koshar
Liberalism, Law, Politics
Chapter 15: German Idealism and German Liberalism in the 1920s: Remarks on Ernst Cassirer and the Historicity of Interpretation by Peter Gordon
Chapter 16: Sovereignty, Constitutionalism, and the Myth of the State: Article Four of the Weimar Constitution by Peter Caldwell
Chapter 17: The Grammar of Laws by Robert Gibbs
Chapter 18: Haunted by the Ghost of Weimar: Leo Strauss’ Critique of Hans Kelsen by David Novak
Chapter 19: Displacement, Abstraction and Historical Specificity: Comments on the
Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory by Jeffrey Herf
Chapter 20: The Ideological Struggle for the German Soul in Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain by Garbriel Ricci
Chapter 21: The Limits of Dictatorship and the Origins of Democracy: The Political Theory of Carl J. Friedrich from Weimar to the Cold War by Udi Greenberg
Conclusion: Notes toward a Theory of Political and Legal Resistance by Leonard Kaplan