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Hans Jonas In Marburg, 1928

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concerns genealogical implications of this counterintuitive choice for what was called Religionsgeschichte or Religionswissenschaft. In this connection, proximity to Rudolf Otto, also teaching at Marburg, would seem more apposite than the two mentors invariably exploited in Hans Jonas studies, Martin Heidegger and Bultmann. The title of Suzanne Marchand's recent essay, "Philhellenism and the Furor Orientalis," captures the overheated admixture of Hellenism and Orientalism in the "philological-humanist movement" as it was coming to a boil in the Weimar twenties. Conversation on gnosis, as it were, echoed through the most hallowed halls of Kultur. Of all the characters relevant to Jonas's 1928 moment, perhaps the oddest was Oskar Goldberg. Eventually, as a Jew, Jonas explicitly rejected the Alien God. "The Deus absconditus, the hidden god is a profoundly un-Jewish conception . . . a completely hidden God is not an acceptable concept by Jewish norms.

Keywords: alien God; Bultmann; Furor Orientalis; Hans Jonas; Jewish gnosis; Marburg; Martin Heidegger



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