Federico Filauri (SAS) - 2018-19 Students

Ernst Bloch and the Messianic Idea in the Twentieth Century Thought

In recent years our global landscape has dramatically changed, demanding to re-examine our description of cultural, economic and political phenomena to cope with them; among those, the relationship between religion and politics needs to be rethought. My research project consists in a historical-philosophical study of German-Jewish thought of the Twentieth Century, with an emphasis on theological-political aspects. I intend to conduct a brief survey of the origin and development of messianic faith, analysing the main problems that arise from the various studies concerning messianism, seeking the places from which Bloch drew his messianic conceptions. I will then provide an original interpretation of two cardinal structures of Blochian thought – not-yet-being and exodus –, investigating their relation with messianic concepts. Finally, I question two theological-political assumptions about the genealogy of modern sovereignty: the connection between God Omnipotent and the modern Legislator and the identification of fear as the essence of both state and religion.

In so doing I aim to provide a reassessment of the features and roles played by messianism in Bloch’s thought, in comparison with his contemporaries, trying to provide a better understanding of the Jewish background within which Ernst Bloch acquired and reformulated the messianic idea. Moreover, I intend to inspect the influence that religious concepts drawn from the Jewish tradition may have on the development of theoretical constructs inside the western thought tradition.

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