Her­mann Cohen and the Cri­sis of Liberalism

Paul E. Nahme

  • From the Publisher
January 1, 2013

Her­mann Cohen (1842 – 1918) is often held to be one of the most impor­tant Jew­ish philoso­phers of the nine­teenth cen­tu­ry. Paul E. Nahme, in this new con­sid­er­a­tion of Cohen, lib­er­al­ism, and reli­gion, empha­sizes the idea of enchant­ment, or the faith in and com­mit­ment to ideas, rea­son, and critique―the ani­mat­ing spir­its that move soci­ety for­ward. Nahme views Cohen through the lens­es of the crises of Impe­r­i­al Germany―the rise of anti­semitism, nation­al­ism, and secularization―to come to a greater under­stand­ing of lib­er­al­ism, its Protes­tant and Jew­ish roots, and the spir­its of moder­ni­ty and tra­di­tion that form its foun­da­tion. Nah­me’s philo­soph­i­cal and his­tor­i­cal retelling of the sto­ry of Cohen and his spir­i­tu­al invest­ment in lib­er­al the­ol­o­gy present a strong argu­ment for reli­gious plu­ral­ism and pub­lic rea­son in a world rife with pop­ulism, iden­ti­ty pol­i­tics, and con­spir­a­cy theories.

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