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The Star of Redemption

Franz Rosenzweig; Translated by Barbara E. Galli; Foreword by Michael Oppenheim, introduction by Elliot R. Wolfson

Publication Year: 2005

    The Star of Redemption is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding religion and philosophy in the twentieth century.  Fusing philosophy and theology, the book assigns both Judaism and Christianity distinct but equally important roles in the spiritual structure of the world. Franz Rosenzweig finds in both biblical religions approaches to a comprehension of reality. 
    The major themes and motifs of The Star—the birth, life, death, and the immortality of the soul;  Eastern philosophies and Jewish mysticism; the relationship between God, world and humanity over time; and revelation as the real biblical miracle of faith and path to redemption—resonate meaningfully.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press

Title Page

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pp. vii-x


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pp. xi-xv

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Introduction to Barbara Galli’s Translation of Rosenzweig’s Star

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pp. xvii-xx

In deep gratitude, I have accepted the invitation of Barbara Galli to write a brief introduction to her monumental translation of Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption, an offer, I hasten to add, that came with no sense of demand or obligation, but as a pure gift, a request that bestowed upon me the honor of giving in receiving...


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INTRODUCTION: On the Possibility of Knowing the All

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pp. 9-29

FROM DEATH, it is from the fear of death that all cognition of the All begins. Philosophy has the audacity to cast off the fear of the earthly, to remove from death its poisonous sting, from Hades his pestilential breath. All that is mortal lives in this fear of death; every new birth multiplies the fear for a new reason, for it multiplies that which is mortal. The womb of the inexhaustible...

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BOOK ONE: God and HIS Being or Metaphysics

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pp. 31-48

ABOUT God we know nothing. But this not-knowing is a not-knowing about God. As such, it is the beginning of our knowledge about him. The beginning, not the end. The not-knowing as end and outcome of our knowledge is the fundamental idea of “negative theology,” which demolished and discarded assertions that had been found about God’s “attributes” until there remained...

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BOOK TWO: The World and its Meaning or Metalogic

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pp. 49-70

WHAT is it we know of the world? It seems to surround us. We live in it, but it is also inside us. It gets into us, but with every breath we breathe and with every move of our hands, it flows back out of us. It is what is an obvious fact to us, as obvious as our own Self, more obvious than God. It is obviousness itself...

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BOOK THREE: Man and his Self or Metaethics

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pp. 71-91

ABOUT man—about him, as well, are we supposed to know nothing? The Self ’s knowledge about itself, consciousness of self, has the reputation of being the surest of all knowledge. And common sense bristles up almost more fiercely than does scientific consciousness when it is a question of pulling the true foundation from under its feet, and it goes...

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pp. 93-100

THE mythical God, the plastic world, tragic man—we are holding the pieces in our hands. We have really shattered the All. The more deeply we descended into the night of the positive in order to capture the something immediately in its flight out of the nothing...


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INTRODUCTION: On the Possibility of Experiencing Miracle

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pp. 103-121

IF miracle really is the favorite child of faith, then, at least for some time, faith has been seriously neglecting its parental duties. For at least a century, the child has been only a source of great embarrassment for the wet nurse dispatched by its parent, theology: she would gladly have got rid of...

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BOOK ONE: Creation or the Everlasting Foundation of Things

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pp. 123-168

GOD spoke. That comes second. It is not the beginning. It is already the fulfillment, the audible fulfillment of the mute beginning. It is already the first miracle. The beginning is: God created. God created. This is what is new. Here, the shell of the mystery breaks. Everything we knew about God till now has been...

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BOOK TWO: Revelation or the Ever Renewed Birth of the Soul

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pp. 169-220

LOVE is as strong as death. As strong as death? Against whom is it that death shows its strength? Against the one whom it seizes. And love—certainly, it seizes both, the lover as well as the beloved. But the beloved differently from the lover. It is in the lover that it originates. The beloved is seized; her love is already a response to the being-seized, it is Anteros the younger brother of Eros. It is true first for the beloved that love is as strong...

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BOOK THREE: Redemption or the Eternal Future of the Kingdom

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pp. 221-271

LOVE your neighbor. This is, Jews and Christians affirm, the embodiment of all commandments. With this commandment, the soul declared grown-up leaves the paternal home of divine love to go out and travel through the world. It is a commandment of love like the original commandment...

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pp. 273-280

THE sinking into the subterranean Kingdom, where the figures resided singly, unknown to each other, an All split in pieces, was followed by the ascent— the ascent above the arch of the visible heaven. In this ascent, the pieces of the All that fell apart in the sinking...


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INTRODUCTION: On the Possibility of Obtaining the Kingdom by Prayer

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pp. 283-315

THE assertion that one might be able to tempt God is perhaps the most absurd of the many absurd assertions that faith has brought into the world. God the Creator, before whom—according to the assertion of just that faith— nations are like a drop in the bucket, and man—again in the words of that faith—this maggot, the son of man, this worm, should be capable of tempting him, God!...

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BOOK ONE: The Fire or Eternal Life

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pp. 317-355

PRAISED be he who has planted eternal life in our midst. The fire burns in the heart of the Star. It is only out of the fire of the center that the rays shine forth and flow outwards irresistibly. The heart of the fire must burn without ever stopping. Its flame must eternally nourish itself. It does not want nourishment from anywhere else. Time must...

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BOOK TWO: The Rays or the Eternal Way

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pp. 357-402

NO human power can grasp the thoughts of the Creator; for his ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. It is with these words about God’s ways at the conclusion of the great record of the entire content of oral and written Torah, which Maimonides gives...

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BOOK THREE: The Star or Eternal Truth

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pp. 403-440

GOD is truth. Truth is his seal by which he is known, even if one day everything by which he made known his eternity in time, all eternal life, all eternal way, found its end where the eternal also finds its end: in eternity. For not only does the way end here, life does, too. Eternal life only lasts as long as life altogether lasts. Only in contrast to the always temporary life of the pavers of the...

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pp. 441-447

THAT which is eternal had become configuration in the truth. And truth is nothing other than the countenance of this configuration. Truth alone is its countenance. And take much care, for the sake of your souls: “No figure have you seen, speech only have you heard,”—so it is said in the world of Revelation with and around us. But the word grows silent in the afterworld and supra-world, in the redeemed...


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pp. 449-459

E-ISBN-13: 9780299207236
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299207243

Publication Year: 2005