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Distributed for Brandeis University Press

Dynamic Repetition

History and Messianism in Modern Jewish Thought

A fine example of the best scholarship that lies at the intersection of philosophy, religion, and history.
Dynamic Repetition proposes a new understanding of modern Jewish theories of messianism across the disciplines of history, theology, and philosophy. The book explores how ideals of repetition, return, and the cyclical occasioned a new messianic impulse across an important swath of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century German Jewish thought. To grasp the complexities of Jewish messianism in modernity, the book focuses on diverse notions of “dynamic repetition” in the works of Franz Rosenzweig, Walter Benjamin, Franz Kafka, and Sigmund Freud, and their interrelations with basic trajectories of twentieth-century philosophy and critical thought.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Scenarios of Repetition
I. Preliminaries, 1. From Eternal Return to Modern Repetition
2. Tradition and Repetition in German Jewish Modernity
II. Repetition and Its Others
3. “Weltliche Unlebendigkeit”: Eternity and Repetition in Rosenzweig
4. Repetition and Alterity: Rosenzweig’s Translations of Yehuda Halevi, Intermezzo: Abrahamic Variations in Kafka and Kierkegaard
III. The Breaking History
5. To Know No History: Benjamin’s Eternal Return
6. Revelatory Discovery: On Benjamin’s “Repetition of Opposites”
7. Freud on Moses: The Return of the Repressed and the End of Essence

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