degradation scenario, such Jewish modelings might be found or at least adapted, and how they might help us think and talk about our shared Jewish and human future. Second , to find rigorous language (philosophical and/or physical) to think about the temporal nature of the degradation emplotment, beyond the ironic reversal of rhetorics of progress (including the ironic positing of a steady and as it were “natural” or inevitable decline), and also beyond the mourning-inflected posteriority of the post-catastrophic condition. Remarkably, the history of “catastrophe” in early
, Lombardy and Veneto were no longer governed by the Hapsburgs but by the Italian State, which had been proclaimed in 1861. In 1870, the conquest of Rome and the collapse of the Pope’s temporal power had shifted the geographical center of gravity of Italian-speaking Jews from the north-east toward the centre of Italy, because of the need to create a new Rabbinical school in this part of the country, which, on one side, had remarkable Jewish communities and, on the other, was the most important from the political point of view.
Since 1887, a Rabbinical College was
Representation: The Philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig Reconsidered (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000), 84. Knowing God was predicated on the acceptance of his absence and Star invokes a God that had yet not manifested himself and had remained hidden in traditional religiosity as well as in modern rational philosophy and theology. He too explicitly placed Jews outside the temporal world of history.
For both Buber and Rosenzweig, thinking about religion served to criticize modernity’s false promise of progress and its secularizing posture. To them, religiosity