Thinking Proleptically: Paul Mendes-Flohr on Intellectual History as Second-Person Dialogue

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The current article argues that Paul Mendes-Flohr’s turn to address contemporary challenges faced by Jews at large, and Israeli Jews in particular, is proleptic in the sense that it excavates the anticipation of the current intellectual, spiritual and moral reality from the intellectual history of modern German−Jewish thought. Based on a reading of his recent book, Cultural Disjunctions: Post-Traditional Jewish Identities, the discussion shows how Mendes-Flohr’s adaptation of Martin Buber’s call to aspire to I−Thou relations supports proleptic historiography both as a historiographical methodology and as a moral act.

Original languageEnglish
Article number397
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Buber
  • Franz
  • German−Jewish thought
  • Hebrew Bible
  • I and Thou
  • intellectual history
  • Kingship of God
  • Martin
  • Mendes-Flohr
  • modern reception of
  • Paul
  • Rosenzweig
  • Wissenschaft des Judentums
  • Zionism

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies


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