European Journal of Political Theory 12 (4):388-408 (2013)

Leo Strauss once called the theologico-political problem ‘the theme of my investigations’ from the 1920s on. What justified this remark is by no means obvious. This article examines the origins of Strauss’s concern with political theology in his earliest writings on Zionism and Jewish thought during the Weimar period. Here we see Strauss, at the outset of his career as a young Zionist committed to a programme of political atheism, slowly begin to develop the idea that the conflict between unbelief and belief (Unglauben und Glauben) was the ‘deepest theme of world history’. This awareness, I argue, slowly led Strauss to reassess the adequacy of political Zionism as an answer to the Jewish question and to justify his later claim about the centrality of the theologico-political problem
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DOI 10.1177/1474885112469606
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