2012 Rosenzweig Congress in Toronto: “Gebet, Gesetz, Gebot : Love, Law, Life”

Gebet, Gesetz, Gebot : Love, Law, Life

Where does thought look for insight in our world exposed to war as systematic violence? Will political order open meaning beyond the rule of force? Will theology provide us a view of social relations that transcend the market? Does performative language orient thought? A new way of thinking, of doing philosophy, arises in Franz Rosenzweig’s dramatic and vital work, one which draws directly on his own personal crises and profound insights. His great work, The Star of Redemption, offered a system of philosophy, but also challenged the total systems of Hegel and other philosophers.

Much of his challenge arises by an attention to language, and to thinking about how people speak to one another. The renewal of ethics in the work of Emmanuel Levinas and others arises from this experience of the command. But the interpersonal intimate sphere is also coordinated with social and communal forms, especially in the realms of law and of prayer. While his dialogical philosophy continues to provide resources for new insights, the dynamic interaction between the conversations of two and three people with the social practices and institutions offer the fuller promise of The Star.

Moreover, in his later work, Rosenzweig focused on the task of leading a Jewish life in the 20th century and tried to renew his Jewish community. His translations of Yehudah Halevi’s prayers (as well as those of the Bible with Buber) represent a rich and concrete reflection on prayer (and law and life). His own reflections on the Jewish commandments reflect back to his dissertation on Hegel and the State, and raise questions for contemporary political philosophy and the relation of religion and legality.

By charting new courses through law, the imperatives of love, and the social practice of prayer, Rosenzweig generated new thinking which demands re-exploration in our time.

The International Rosenzweig Society invites all interested scholars to explore these key social and personal issues at a congress to take place at the

University of Toronto, from Sunday through Tuesday, 2-4 September 2012.

Contributions may bear on any aspect of Rosenzweig’s work, but preference will be given to those that focus on dialogical philosophy, ethics, law, political theory, prayer, social theory, as well as exploring the key moments and relationships in Rosenzweig’s life.

We would appreciate applications for presentations shortly. Prospective participants are invited to send a title and an abstract (5-10 lines) of their 30 minute contribution by 15 October 2011, together with a short biographical statement. We will give preference to early career scholars, but welcome scholars from all stages. The Congress languages will be English, German and French.

Funds are being sought to support costs, especially for early career scholars, including graduate students.

Please write to:

Organizing Committee:

Robert Gibbs (Toronto) ; David Novak (Toronto) ; Willli Goetschel (Toronto) ; Paul Franks (Yale/Toronto) ; Jules Simon (U of Texas, El Paso) ; Bettina Bergo (Université de Montréal)

The CFP can also be downloaded in German and French here.



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