Cosmopolitan political theology in Cohen and Rosenzweig.

Miguel Vatter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article discusses the relation between Judaism and political theology in the work of Hermann Cohen and Franz Rosenzweig. Both Cohen and Rosenzweig give an interpretation of Judaism that prioritizes the messianic ideal while maintaining the priority of philosophy over religion. With respect to political theology, this article argues that Cohen and Rosenzweig criticize the priority assigned to the national state in modern politics in favour of a politics that is both cosmopolitan and republican, in so far as it makes the internal relation between peoplehood and rule of law central, and detaches the rule of law from sovereignty. In this sense, the messianism of Cohen and Rosenzweig is opposed to Christian conceptions of the messianic recovered in recent contemporary political theory. The article concludes with a discussion of Rosenzweig's hypothesis concerning how the antagonism between these two forms of messianism are to be reconciled in a new understanding of natural right.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-324
Number of pages30
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Franz rosenzweig
  • Hermann cohen
  • Messianism
  • Natural right
  • Peoplehood
  • Political theology


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