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BU lecture series....

From: Andras
Sent on: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 9:35 PM




"Confronting Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise: Hermann Cohen vs. Franz Rosenzweig"

Myriam Bienenstock

University François Rabelais at Tours (France)

Abstract: Hermann Cohen's virulent criticism of Spinoza's Theologico-Political Treatise always remained for Leo Strauss a puzzling issue. Interestingly enough, however, Strauss never mentioned, in his many studies on the subject, an early article of Cohen, in which Spinoza fulfills a central role: "Heinrich Heine and Judaism" (1867). In that early article, Cohen had displayed a strong enthusiasm for Spinoza, who according to him had remained a Jew throughout his life, even after the "herem." Most often, the article is disregarded by commentators, in particular by Franz Rosenzweig, who deemed it a "sin": the "Spinozian sin" of Cohen's younger years.

Professor Bienenstock's contention is that trying to interpret the late criticism without taking into account the early enthusiasm condemns us not to understand Cohen's rage and its causes, nor Cohen's aims. In this lecture, she will explain what Rosenzweig saw as a "sin," and why Rosenzweig did not agree with Spinoza, nor with Cohen.

Myriam Bienenstock is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at the University François Rabelais at Tours, France. She has published widely on German and Jewish Philosophy and on authors ranging from Kant, Herder, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel to Rosenzweig and Levinas. At present, she is working on a book to be titled Hermann Cohen and Franz Rosenzweig: A Debate on German Thought.

Wednesday, December 7th, 5:00pm

Boston University School of Law

Barristers Hall
765 Commonwealth Avenue, First Floor

Supported by the Boston University Center for the Humanities and cosponsored by Boston Univeristy Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies.

This lecture is free and open to the public.


Institute for Philosophy & Religion
Boston University
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 523
Boston, MA 02215
T[masked] Fax[masked]
[address removed]

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