In his book The Time That Remains: A Commentary on the Letter to the Romans, Giorgio Agamben states that the famous hunchbacked dwarf from Walter Benjamin's first thesis on the philosophy of history was none other than Paul. Unlike Agamben, Benjamin was a reader of the Jewish philosopher Hermann Cohen, whose interpretation of human weakness represents not only an alternative but in many respects a counterposition to Paul. In my article I present Cohen's messianism and his generation of the concept of the individual out of the recognition of human weakness. I return then to the question of whether Benjamin in fact refers to the second letter to the Corinthians or whether there are not good reasons to assume that Benjamin is closer to Cohen's thought of the messianic power of weakness than to Paul's heroic suffering.
Research Article|November 01 2008
Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky; The Image of Happiness We Harbor: The Messianic Power of Weakness in Cohen, Benjamin, and Paul. New German Critique 1 November 2008; 35 (3 (105)): 57–69. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-2008-013
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