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Document Details :
Title: 'God's Love for His Enemies'
Subtitle: Jacob Taubes' Conversation with Carl Schmitt on Paul
Author(s): TERPSTRA, Marin
Volume: 70 Issue: 2 Date: 2009
In the late seventies of the 20th century, Jacob Taubes, a philosopher of religion and a scholar in Jewish thought, visited Carl Schmitt in his home. Schmitt was a scholar in constitutional and international law who joined the Hitler regime in 1933. Both were fascinated by the apocalyptic tradition, albeit it in opposite ways. They had a conversation about the apostle Paul, especially about his ‘Letter to the Romans’. Their discussion focused on the passage in which Paul speaks of the Jews as 'enemies of God'. Against the background of history’s violent anti-Semitism, this exceptional conversation deconstructs Paul’s texts, traditionally conceived as constitutive of orthodox Christianity, and opens them up for a more subversive, heterodox reading. By Taubes, Paul is portrayed as an heretic Jew who joined the ‘Jesus movement’. He remained loyal to his tradition, while at the same time searching for new forms of spiritual community, avoiding direct political actions, as well as Gnostic interiorization, and establishing a new Law.