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Another Finitude: Messianic Vitalism and Philosophy
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Another Finitude: Messianic Vitalism and Philosophy (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Beginning from the notion of finite life, Another Finitude takes this staple subject from post-Heideggerian philosophy and opposes it to the onto-theological concept of infinity, represented by an eternal absolute. Although critical of Heidegger and his definition of finitude as `being-towards-death', this book does not revert to the ontological idea of infinity secured in the sacred image of immortality. But it also does not want to give up on infinity altogether; the infinite is transposed, so it can become a necessary moment of the finite life.



A theological framework for the new elaboration of the concept of finitude is crucial; but instead of following the Lutheran formula, Agata Bielik-Robson turns to the sources of Judaism. Taking inspiration from the Jewish idea of torat hayim, the principle of finite life, which found the best expression in the biblical sentence: love strong as death; love emerges as the alternative marker of finitude, allowing to us redefine it in an affirmative way. By tracing the avatars of love in the group of 20th-century thinkers, or `messianic vitalists'-Benjamin, Rosenzweig, Arendt, Derrida, and (deeply revised) Freud-the book attempts to demonstrate the possibility of such affirmation. Love becomes the new `infinite-in-the-finite'; love in all its forms, from the original libidinal endowment of the human psyche to the last metamorphoses of agape, the Greco-Christian divine love.

Agata Bielik-Robson is Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK and at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland. She is the author of Jewish Cryptotheologies of Late Modernity: Philosophical Marranos (2014).

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