Friday, October 30, 2009

Rosenzweig's War

An extract below from The Jew, the Arab: A History of the Enemy by Gil Anidjar, considered as one of the "101 most dangerous" professors in America by David Horowitz. A link to an interview with Anidjar.

"No one, perhaps, has gone as explicitly far as Rosenzweig in extirpating, ultimately eradicating, Islam from the figure of humanity, that is to say, from the theologico-political, from the religious and historical world configuration that is constituted by Judaism and Christianity. " Before God, then, Jew and christian both labor at the same task. He cannot dispense with either. He has set enmity between the two for all times, and withal has known intimately bound to each".

This exclusion constitutes Rosenzweig's political theology, the theologico-political configuration that links three rather than two entities commonly referred to as 'religions.' This term 'religion' of course means very little to Rosenzweig, who recasts each element( God, world, and man) as privileged in its relation to one of the three religions. Judaism is with God, Christianity is man on its way to God, Islam is the war of the world. Judaism is theological, and it therefore experiences war as political. Christianity is the embodiment of the theologico-political, unable to know the difference when it comes to war. Islam, finally is detheologized and can therefore spread nothing but holy war. Rosenzweig casts Islam at once as the most obvious and the most hidden figure of the world as political. He casts Islam as the most extreme opposite, the most distant figure in its relation to Judaism, in relation to the theological space that Judaism occupies. Rosenzweig casts Islam as the political enemy.

Islam, one could say, cannot relate to the world because it is the world.......what Rosenzweig makes explicit is the structure of the theologico-political as constitutively Abrahamic. By enacting the exclusion of Islam, by making visible the becoming of the theologico-political as the Jude-Christian, Rosenzweig makes Islam into the invisible enemy. He also made Islam the political enemy. With the Star, with what can be seen as a certain culmination of its history, the enemy draws away, and with him, the Jew, the Arab."

from The Jew, the Arab: A History of the Enemy, Gil Anidjar

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