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Sprecher des GRK:
Prof. Dr. Markus Wriedt

Prof. Dr. Thomas M. Schmidt


Corinna Sonntag


Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

GRK Theologie als Wissenschaft
IG-Farben-Haus (FB 06)

Hauspostfach 1, IG

Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1
60629 Frankfurt am Main


Hier finden Sie uns:
Campus Westend
Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1
60629 Frankfurt am Main
Raum: NG 1.713 und IG 1.511


C. Sonntag: 069 798 33366


Di 11-13 Uhr

Do 11-13 Uhr

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Gilad Shenhav

GRK 1728 Theologie als Wissenschaft
PA-Gebäude, Postfach PA 25
Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1
60329 Frankfurt am Main

Akademischer Werdegang

2009 B.A. Tel Aviv University - Joint Degree Department of Philosophy and Department of Literature. 
2014 M.A. Tel Aviv University - Department of Philosophy: Graduated with great honors. Thesis: "Democracy to Come – Between Theory and Political Practice".  
2012 - 2015 Member of the "Living Together" research group at Minerva Humanities Center, Tel Aviv University. 

Beruflicher Werdegang 

2002 – 2005 Galei Tsahal - Correspondent in the field of Religious Affairs (specialized in Issues of Ultra-Orthodox Communities) 
2005 – 2007  Maariv (Israeli Newspaper) – Science Correspondent 
2008 - 2012 Galei Tsahal (Israeli Radio - Nationwide) - Editor of the morning journal. 
2011 - 2015 ynet (Israeli website, Yedioth Ahronot Group) Head of the video department / Directed documentary series on Health, Science and Philosophy / Senior News 


Zionism - Between Jewish Messianism and Justice

When dealing with questions pertaining to nationalism, it is hard to invoke two concepts more at odds with one another than political messianism and justice. One of the guiding principles of almost all the canonical theories of justice is the ability to reach judgments contingently based on ever-changing states and conditions. Even if we apply a method involving predefined ground principles like those outlined in Kantian philosophy or that of utilitarianism, local and specific judgments must still be made. Political leaders are expected to make calculations and take certain things into account when deciding whether levying a tax, deciding to go to war, or denying groups of a right is just - if not justified. The fact that leaders hold this or that ideological position does not exempt them from the need to decide time and time again, even if this done unconsciously. On the other hand, political messianism can be perceived as an absolutist model outlining a clear moral and political program which must be followed to a tee and without question in the hopes of reaching a certain sublime telos. Since both process and end-goal are clearly defined from the onset, questions of local justices might be pushed aside. There is an end and as its direct result any means is justified. Thus, supposedly, political messianism leaves no or limited room for normative ethics. The question is whether it is possible to uncouple the dichotomous relations between these two concepts, which both play a significant role in modern nationalism? A test case which can be seen as exemplifying the tension between Jewish messianism, nationalism and justice is Zionist thought and its political implementation up until present times. Scholars from Gershom Scholem to Jacqueline Rose adumbrate the genealogy of Zionism as a form of messianic thought. Analyses of this type follow a long series of thinkers, from Sabbatai Zevi through Theodor Herzl and Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook to Israel’s contemporary. On the other hand, Zionist leaders and academic scholars tried and still try to describe and examine the legitimacy of the Zionist enterprise (especially in regards to its dominant influence on the Palestinian population) on the basis of normative ethical principles. I would like to show that these two narratives are not necessarily at odds, but can rather complement and supplement one another. For that purpose, the following question must be asked: how can political messianism function without a predefined program and facilitate the ability to reach contingent decisions according to the calculations of justice?