Intimate Explorations: Reading Across Disciplines
Like Rosenstock, Rosenzweig had been born into a liberal Jewish family, but whereas Rosenstock insisted that the triadic unity of God, man and world was best understood and hence God was best served by entering the Christian faith, Rosenzweig, on the verge of converting to Christianity, had the overwhelming conviction that he had to devote his life to the Jewish faith. In The Star of Redemption he would argue that Christians and Jews alone are servants of the God who is Creator, Revealer and Redeemer with each having a different task. The Jews have been chosen to live outside of history — hence they are stateless and speak the language of the particular state they may dwell in — while the Christians sweep all pagans into their messianic mission of conversion.
That correspondence of was first published in Germany after Hitler had come to power, in , by which time Franz Rosenzweig had been dead six years from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; he had also become probably the most important intellectual leader for German Jewry.
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That role had largely derived from his establishment of the Jewish Lehrhaus in Frankfurt, his translation of the Bible, with Martin Buber, and his unflagging devotion to the promotion of the benefits of the Jewish life and tradition. Behind his fame lay, The Star of Redemption, a work which would make him the most important Jewish philosopher of the twentieth century certainly, the two other contenders for that title, Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas saw him in that light.
Individual purposes or intentions were subordinated to a large extent to a process of re-creation or transformation brought about by a most unwanted, even abhorred, exposure to each other.
The first is the triad of God, Man, World, in which each is a pole of historical orientation and collective appeal in self, group and world making. Rosenzweig demonstrates that any attempt to deny the existence of one pole, such as God, by atheists, or the independence of the world by idealists, or to collapse man completely into the world, as naturalists would have it, is to deface the only world that we know, a world in which each name of appeal has played its respective part.
In this respect, Rosenzweig refuses to accept that the bare world of nature is the one true world; or, to say it another way, for Rosenzweig culture matters. Unlike the first two triads, the third triad is not a triad that helps form the symbol of the star, but it is, for Rosenzweig, no less essential for understanding the world we live in.
This is the triad of pagans, Christians and Jews. On the surface to break humanity into three core groups seems very superficial - and it is one of the most common criticisms that is launched against him by his own advocates who seem to be embarrassed by such archaisms. People build worlds around their sources of appeal - and while Rosenzweig is not denying the detailed diversity of every life-way, in comparison to one particular life-way - the life-way of the Jewish people he claims that there is a fundamental cleavage and that can be traced back to the original uniqueness of the Jewish source of appeal.
To a certain extent, since the spread of Christianity, ways of being and seeing and making reality which originated in the Judaic experience have now become part of a more universal human experience. The original uniqueness to which Rosenzweig refers when speaking of the Jewish people is that they were a people who were formed over time in response to the law of a God who was a lover who revealed the law of triadic redemption of His people, His world and Himself.
Afterwards, Christianity took core Jewish teachings into the world, albeit in a distorted manner with its most provocative claim that the Messiah had already arrived. But in making spirit and faith stronger than blood and inheritance, the Christians acted as a middle term between the Jewish and pagan peoples. To restate this, for Rosenzweig the uniqueness of the Jewish body of believers lay in the overwhelming importance of love as the revealed law of redemption - not power, not piety, not ascetic renunciation, not justice in itself, but love becomes the ray through which all other potencies of creation are inflected and thereby totally transformed, which is to say they are redeemed by love.
The corollary of this is that love - not ethics, not politics, not philosophy, not ideology, not a change in the mode of social production redeems the weak and the evil. And indeed the redemption of the weak and the evil is a fundamental line of continuity between Jews and Christians. Unlike Christians, however, Jews must ever confront the living God having no state, forced always to dwell in the land of others and speak the tongues of others they are what they are.
The Star was written before the existence of Israel, and while Rosenzweig became more conciliatory toward Zionists, his vision is premised upon the perpetuity of a Jewish Diaspora. In this respect, they are not like Christians, mere believers; they are the Other by birth. And again the truly remarkably prophetic aspect of The Star lay in its prescience that the great new persecution would have nothing to do with what Jews believed but with who they were said to be. That is, in Dante, love in its highest pagan form is synthesised with the law of love that is common to Jews and Christians.
Indeed, in Dante we see that this synthesis of the law of love with the Platonic romantic is what makes this complete. In the first instance, Eugen plays a role somewhat analogous to Virgil. It was Eugen in a letter of on the formative nature of speech that brought Franz into what he would later call his New Thinking. It was Eugen who would open his eyes to the dead-end of faithlessness which is really what Virgil does to Dante , by demonstrating to him the moribund future of idealism and modernism. Philosophy provided reasons, but faith drew one to act in the knowledge of the limitations of the light of the world and the urgency of the moment.
If Eugen plays the role of Virgil, it is, however, Gritli who is Beatrice.
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One might say, without exaggeration, that the Star is a love-drunk vision of a God who pours out infinite love to a people who must be strong enough to drink it and then to share their loving strength. In this respect the Star is a very Jewish book, even though Rosenzweig quite rightly insisted it was not just a Jewish book - and it was not, for amongst other things it is written for Christians who he hopes will see and act to stop the forces of anti-Semitism swelling in Germany at that time.
Yet - and this yet is all important - it is also a book that could not have been written without the pagan and the Christian. In his autobiographical work Ja and Nein, Rosenstock-Huessy had provided the formulation, which was the only one that he held truthfully, made sense of the European world - that the full life must be lived as Jew, as Christian and as pagan. Yet he also wants to show Eugen that he has demonstrated the alliance between Jews and Christians, which has been embodied in their friendship.
In keeping with the love he has for both, he does not want to damage the love that exists between Gritli and Eugen.
On the contrary, throughout their correspondence he emphasises that the love between him and Gritli strengthens the love each has for Eugen. That this love between Gritli and Franz was transgressive, that it was sensuous and because it was sensuous, in contravention of the decreed walls of the sanctimony of marriage, it also revealed that all three accepted the compulsions of the pagan.
Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook, vol. The final crisis between Rosenstocks and the Rosenzweigs is treated in a completely cursory and utterly misleading manner. Modern Judaism, vol. Bibliography Glatzer, N. New York: Schocken, Gormann-Thelen, M. Anckaert, M. Brasser and N. Samuelson eds , Leuven University Press, Leuven, Horwitz, R. Brasser ed.
Maybaum, I. Meier, E. Peter Lang, New York, Rosenstock-Huessy, E. Introduction by H. Stahemer with essays by A. Altmann and D. Emmet, New York: Schocken, . Argo, Norwich,Vermont, Lambert Schneider, Heidelberg, Rosenzweig, F.
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Udoff and B. Glatzer trans and H. Galli trans , Wisconsin University Press, Madison, Stahmer, H.
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Zank, M. Care of Self as Demarcation: Everyday Life Practices of Self-Care as The Intermediation of Work and Life Sabine Flick Abstract This work-in-progress text discusses questions of self-care as demarcation, assuming that new forms of labour regulations are challenging practices of self-direction. Results of an empirical PhD study based on biographical interviews with highly self-directed employees by means of flexible time will be presented. The care of the self marks the crucial point of reproduction in such highly flexibilised workplaces. Moreover, I am interested in how these more or less new working conditions influence the intimate relations of employees.
One research result is that friendship significantly matters to these people, which implies that the classical individualisation theory misses the essential point since it only looks out for singles vs. Another is that despite the changes in gender relations, gender specific particularities in the practice of self care are still relevant.
The subject, now at the centre of his or her own life and life planning, may and must, realise his or her own self totally. The aforementioned changing conditions of labour require that subjects move toward greater self-control, self-rationalisation and selfeconomisation. This subjectivation of work, as research in labour sociology shows us, becomes an obligation for the employees.
In contrast to the rationalisation paradigm of Taylor-Fordism, the management concepts of Post-Fordism take the whole person into account. From this perspective the transition to flexible working hours, with its shift in the relation between labour time and leisure time, actually leads to the dissolution of the boundaries between them.
Self-monitoring, as I argue here, is connected with the risk of self-overstraining, since external demands can be construed as internal ones. The results of research on the subjectification of work overwhelmingly demonstrate that employees working in these very subjectified industrial relations confuse or conflate governance and dependency relations. The idea of over-directed activity here is clearly being replaced with an integral [integer] feeling of self-determination.
To be capable of self-care, to care about care, in other words, becomes extremely relevant in view of this increasing focus on the self. How this assumed denial of reality takes shape practically if it is at all a denial , is an interesting question. Is the subjectivation of work really interpreted as such? If so, then the central question concerns which strategies allow people to consider external requirements as external?
How do people come to be capable of distinguishing external from internal requirements, of differentiating between self-determined and overdirected experiences? Some preliminary results of this research will then be discussed III , before drawing an initial conclusion: self care as demarcation IV. Care of Self and the Changing Form of Labour As mentioned, self-care means the capability of being good to oneself, and it is a capability achieved through a life-long struggle.
This self-relation in antiquity is connected with the care of self, which today appears more as coercion toward self-monitoring as the results of research on the subjectivation of work show. That is to say, it appears to be an ambivalent phenomenon.
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Appealing to recognition theory, however, should help clarify this ambiguity. To consider self-care as an autarkic or rather atomistic ability, misconstrues the dimension of recognition. The concrete experience of the other is, in this sense, part of selfcare. When bringing together feminist theories of care and the abovementioned theories of Benjamin and Honneth, one can witness a polarisation of the capability of assertiveness along gender relations.
Care of self and care for others are socially suppressed, disowned, and where ever it begins to shimmer, socially devalued. In addition, this approach is the intermediation of society and the individual - the missing link of sociology. It would be difficult to imagine, for example, that a person who has lived a very structured and routine life would suddenly depart from this pattern and uses his or her flexible labour time on the spur of the moment. As Freud and, with him, Adorno have argued, mental processes and inner experiences do not submit to rational rules or criteria, but follow rather more intricate paths.
Qualitative Research Once again, the focus here is on contemporary changes in the labour sphere, which was described as the subjectivation of work. The decisive component of this development is that previously separated fields and requirements have lost their clarity as their boundaries begin to blur.
How are these requirements interpreted and what practices result from them?