Franz Rosenzweig’s Conversions

Franz Rosenzweig’s Conversions

World Denial and World Redemption
Benjamin Pollock
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 08/12/2014
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-01312-5
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Franz Rosenzweig's near-conversion to Christianity in the summer of 1913 and his subsequent decision three months later to recommit himself to Judaism is one of the foundational narratives of modern Jewish thought. In this new account of events, Benjamin Pollock suggests that what lay at the heart of Rosenzweig's religious crisis was not a struggle between faith and reason, but skepticism about the world and hope for personal salvation. A close examination of this important time in Rosenzweig’s life, the book also sheds light on the full trajectory of his philosophical development.

Author Bio

Benjamin Pollock is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Michigan State University.


“There is one thing that everyone—not just scholars, but informed members of the Jewish community—knows about Rosenzweig, and that one thing is false. Nobody who is interested in twentieth-century Jewish thought, whether from a Jewish, Christian, atheistic, or neutral perspective, will be able to afford to ignore this book.”
 — Paul Franks, Yale University

“The book's scholarship . . . sets the proper tone in understanding the personal searching, frustration, and successful merging of religion and philosophy of the celebrated author of The Star of Redemption. . . . Recommended.”
 — Choice

“[Pollock's] book is a welcome contribution that helps us better appreciate Rosenzweig’s engagement with Marcionism and its role in the development of his thought.”
 — H-Judaic

“[E]xcellent . . . .spring 2016”
 — Jewish Review of Books

“This work sheds a new and compelling light on the trajectory of Rosenzweig’s thought and is highly recommended to undergraduates, graduates, and scholars of Jewish studies.”
 — Religious Studies Review

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction: Explaining Rosenzweig’s Near-Conversion and Return
1. Revelation and World-Skepticism: Rosenzweig’s Early Marcionism
2. Christian "World Activity" and the Historical Reconciliation of Soul and World: Rosenzweig’s (Near-) Conversion
3. "Ich bleibe also Jude": Judaism, Redemption, and the World
4. World Denial and World Redemption in The Star of Redemption
Conclusion: Life and Thought Revisited

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