This article addresses the strange reappearance of Carl Schmitt in the context of German Jewish thought after 1940. The focus is on the role political theology played in the work of Martin Buber, Hugo Bergman, and Jacob Taubes, three men who met in Jerusalem during the late 1940s and early 1950s. They interpreted their own contemporary reality through the discourse of political theology, using the Schmittian concepts of divine decision, the crisis of democracy, and so on. With the entrance of Geulah Cohen—a former terrorist and a right-wing activist, but also a close friend of the three—the discourse swerved, taking on the theopolitical as the “true” messianic calling. By historicizing political theology within the German Jewish response in Palestine, the article problematizes some key concepts of current biopolitical critique.

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