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Divining History

Prophetism, Messianism and the Development of the Spirit

Jayne Svenungsson
Translated by Stephen Donovan

240 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-173-2 $110.00/£78.00 Hb Published (August 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78533-174-9 eBook


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WINNER OF THE 2015 KARIN GIEROW PRIZE

“Insightful, astute, thoughtful, this book traces the developments of liberal Jewish and Christian theologies of history… Creatively synthesizing many primary and secondary texts, this book will interest religion and philosophy students, theologians, and historians. Recommended.” · Choice

“The evolution of the concept of history and its apocalyptic elements are lucidly brought forth in a fascinating new book by the Swedish theologian and historian Jayne Svenungsson, exploring uses of history from the Old Testament prophets to today’s Paul-inspired philosophers.” · Politiken

“Svenungsson’s analysis of contemporary theory is as historically insightful as one could wish. She shows how the motifs found in biblical texts… recur in the works of varied thinkers writing as if they were independent of this historical tradition… Even those with no interest in theology of history or deep-seated religious motifs should consider reading Svenungsson’s book.” · Respons

For millennia, messianic visions of redemption have inspired men and women to turn against unjust and oppressive orders. Yet these very same traditions are regularly decried as antecedents to the violent and authoritarian ideologies of modernity. Informed in equal parts by theology and historical theory, this book offers a provocative exploration of this double-edged legacy. Author Jayne Svenungsson rigorously pursues a middle path between utopian arrogance and an enervated postmodernism, assessing the impact of Jewish and Christian theologies of history on subsequent thinkers, and in the process identifying a web of spiritual and intellectual motifs extending from ancient Jewish prophets to contemporary radicals such as Giorgio Agamben and Slavoj Zizek.
 

Jayne Svenungsson is Professor of Systematic Theology at Lund University, Sweden. She is part of the interdisciplinary research program “Time, Memory and Representation: Transformations in Historical Consciousness.” Her recent publications include the books Jewish Thought, Utopia, and Revolution and Monument and Memory.

Series: Volume 26, Making Sense of History
Subject: Religion General History
Area:

LC: B5802.U86 S9413 2016

BISAC: REL102000 RELIGION/Theology; HIS016000 HISTORY/Historiography; PHI022000 PHILOSOPHY/Religious

BIC: HRLB Theology; HBAH Historiography




Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements

Chapter 1. The God of History
Chapter 2. The Ages of History
Chapter 3. Romantic History
Chapter 4. History after God
Chapter 5.The Politics of History
Postface: A Theopolitical Vision

Bibliography
Index

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