Shortly before his death, Jacob Taubes described his intellectual engagement with Carl Schmitt, beginning in the early 1950s, as one of “liebender Streit” (loving strife). This article explicates Taubes's “loving strife” with Schmitt through the lens of what Taubes called the Pauline “Mysterium Judaicum,” that is, the conjunction of enmity and love coming to expression in the Jewish people as “enemies” of God for the sake of the gentiles, but “beloved” of God for the sake of their forefathers (Romans 11:28). The Mysterium Judaicum marks a decisive break (kairos) after which history is poised between apocalyptic destruction and redemption, between the rule of enmity and the rule of love. In calling his relation to Schmitt “loving strife,” Taubes demonstrates his awareness that his engagement with Schmitt not only concerns the meaning and direction of history but itself embodies the defining tension at work within history.

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