»That god of my youth«: Confluences of Rosenzweig and Wölfflin - 10.1628/jsq-2021-0011 - Mohr Siebeck
Jewish Studies

Caleb Hendrickson

»That god of my youth«: Confluences of Rosenzweig and Wölfflin

Section: Articles
Jewish Studies Quarterly (JSQ)

Volume 28 () / Issue 2, pp. 219-243 (25)
Published 09.06.2021

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As a student in Berlin, Franz Rosenzweig studied under the Swiss art historian Heinrich Wölfflin. This essay describes a number of convergences between Rosenzweig's and Wölfflin's thought. Rosenzweig's early view of history is indebted to Wölfflin's cyclical view of the history of style. The aesthetics of Rosenzweig's Star of Redemption unfolds within a Wölfflinian dialectic of the classic and baroque. Most significantly, Wölfflin's perceptual theory provides an interpretive key to the optical terminology of the Star. Rosenzweig's understanding of Jewish life as a mode of visual intuition (Anschauung) is read in light of Wölfflin's notion of seeing as a historically conditioned mode of perception that creatively configures the visible world. The Star employs Wölfflinian optics to differentiate between Jewish and Christian views of religious truth and to configure the knowledge of revelation.

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