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Reading Heidegger's Black Notebooks 1931-1941$
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Ingo Farin and Jeff Malpas

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034012

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034012.001.0001

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“Heidegger” and the Jews

“Heidegger” and the Jews

(p.145) 10 “Heidegger” and the Jews
Reading Heidegger's Black Notebooks 1931-1941

Michael Fagenblat

The MIT Press

The first part of this chapter discusses Heidegger’s metapolitical critique of Judaism and world-Jewry. I argue for a placeholder interpretation of this critique. To hold that Judaism is a placeholder in Heidegger’s metapolitical thought implies that the “history of being” is not essentially anti-Semitic. This is not to apologize for Heidegger’s anti-Semitic ravings but to clear a path toward understanding its source. I locate this source in Heidegger’s neglect of the phenomenological-conceptual and ultimately ontological relation between being and evil. In the second part I analyse the conceptual relation between Heidegger’s philosophy and characteristic features of Jewish thought. Building on MàrleneZarader’s work, I elucidate numerous, crucial points of convergence between the two ways of thinking. This motivates an explanation of why it is that leading Jewish philosophers drew on Heidegger’s philosophy in order to articulate their views. Thinkers briefly discussed include F. Rosenzweig, G. Scholem, A. Altmann, E. Fackenheim, J. B. Soloveitchik, L. Strauss, E. Levinas and M. Wyschogrod. I then argue for a conceptual fault-line concerning the theme of Place. I conclude by suggesting that contemporary theologies of Zion extend this trajectory by adopting topological modes of thinking akin to Heidegger’s but rejected by their European predecessors.

Keywords:   Jewish thought, Political theology, Political ontology, Zionism

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