Elective Affinity: the Geist of Israel in Heidegger’s Free Use of the German National

Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 32 (1):176-223 (2024)
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Abstract

This article examines the way Heidegger’s account of the unique spiritual mission of the German people is haunted by certain conceptions of the election of Israel. I argue that Heidegger’s political ontology is informed by three conceptions of the mission of Israel: biblical salvation history, kabbalistic panentheism, and Germany literary Hebraism. To link these disparate historical phenomena to Heidegger’s account of the mission of being German, I develop a methodological approach for understanding Heidegger’s “free use of the national” that accounts for the way it binds different sources into a new figure that is haunted by the spirit of Israel.

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Michael Fagenblat
Open University of Israel

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