Public Discussion

History and Messianism in Modern Jewish Thought

Wednesday, January 17, 2024, 7 PM, Katholische Akademie Berlin

Image from the cover: Dynamic Repetition

History and Messianism in Modern Jewish Thought

Wednesday, January 17, 2024, 7 PM, Katholische Akademie Berlin

Prof. Gilad Sharvit, Towson University, Prof. Amir Engel, Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Humboldt-Universität-Berlin and PD Dr. Birgit R. Erdle, TU Berlin

Gilad Sharvit’s recent book, Dynamic Repetition (2022), 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. 

The author will speak with Amir Engel and Birgit R. Erdle about the complexities of Jewish messianism in modernity, focusing on 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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History and Messianism in Modern Jewish Thought
January 17, 2024, 7 PM


Prof. Elad Lapidot
Katholische Akademie Berlin


Katholische Akademie Berlin


Amir Engel

Amir Engel teaches at the German department at the Hebrew University. He studied philosophy, literature, and culture studies at the Hebrew University and completed his PhD. in the German Studies department at Stanford University. He also taught and conducted research at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. His works are in the field of German Jewish literature and intellectual history.

Birgit R. Erdle

Birgit R. Erdle, Dr.phil., Privatdozentin at Institute for the History of Philosophy, Literature, Science and Technology, Technical University Berlin. 2018 and 2021 Senior Fellow for Modern Jewish Studies at Lichtenberg-Kolleg, University of Göttingen. She has been Kurt David Brühl Visiting Professor at the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Graz, 2020; Visiting Professor of Jewish Cultural History at the University of Augsburg, 2019; and she held the DAAD Walter Benjamin Chair at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, 2012 – 2018. Other visiting professorships at the Universities of Vienna, Frankfurt am Main and at Emory University, Atlanta, USA. 

Research areas:
German-Jewish Literature and Intellectual History; Correspondences Between Literature and Philosophy in Modernity; Post-History of National Socialism and the Shoah, Relationships between Memory, Materiality and Knowledge; Epistemology of Time in Literature and Theory.

Recent publications: 
Books: Ilse Aichinger Wörterbuch (ed. with Annegret Pelz), 2021;  Intentionally left blank. Materials and Forms of Notation in European Jewish Literature / Aufzeichnungsformen und -materialien in europäisch-jüdischer Literatur (ed. with Annegret Pelz) 2019.
Articles: „Beobachtungsort postemanzipatorischer Lagen. Siegfried Kracauers Bestandsaufnahmen in der Zeit der Weimarer Republik“, in Emanzipation nach der Emanzipation. Jüdische Literatur, Philosophie und Geschichte um 1900, eds. Bettina Bannasch, George Y. Kohler (forthcoming);  “Auf der Traumspur von Jehuda Halevi. Gerson Stern in Jerusalem (1938-1948)” in Simon Dubnow Institute Yearbook XIX (2020-2021), 2023;  “Von den Enden des Ungeschriebenen”, in „Aggregate der Gegenwart“. Entgrenzte Literaturen und Erinnerungskonflikte, eds. Hans-Joachim Hahn, Hans Kruschwitz, Christine Waldschmidt, 2023.

In english: “Dis/Placing Thought: Franz Kafka and Hannah Arendt”, in Kafka and the Universal, eds. Vivian Liska, Arthur Cools, 2016.  

Gilad Sharvit

Gilad Sharvit is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Towson University. A scholar of Jewish and continental philosophy, Sharvit’s interests lie in political philosophy, modern Jewish Thought, German philosophy, psychoanalysis, and critical theory. Sharvit completed his PhD studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the Philosophy Department and later accepted postdoc positions at the University of California, Berkeley, Hebrew University, and Tel Aviv University.

Professor Sharvit is the author of “Dynamic Repetition: History and Messianism in Modern Jewish Thought” (Brandeis UP, 2022), and “Therapeutics and Salvation: Freud and Schelling on Freedom” (Magnes Press, 2021) (in Hebrew) and co-editor and contributing author of the volumes “Modern Jewish Thought on Crisis: Interpretation, Heresy, and History” (De Gruyter, forthcoming spring 2024), “Canonization and Alterity: Heresy in Jewish History, Thought, and Literature” (De Gruyter, 2020), and “Freud and Monotheism: The Violent Origins of Religion” (Fordham University Press, 2018).

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