Myth and history

I have already passed into myth, since it forms a central element in Benjamin's analysis of fin-de-siecle capitalism 'What would the nineteenth century', he writes in one of the first sketches, 'be to us if we were bound to it by tradition How would it look as religion or mythology '82 As a hell of the eternal return of the same, a Satanic realm that comes out so clearly in Baudelaire's allegory, in the very architecture of the arcades,83 as the world of the fetishised commodity that Benjamin...

The return to theology

In the closing arguments of both Atheism in Christianity and The Principle of Hope, Bloch returns to theology, albeit in his argument for the atheistic logic of the Bible. Yet this argument is, to my mind, the most symptomatic of all, for his theological turn raises all sorts of questions about the nature of his biblical criticism. Note carefully that the title of his most sustained engagement with the Bible is not Atheism in the Bible, but Atheism in Christianity, Atheismus im Christentum. And...

Benjamins Perpetuation of Biblical Myth

The question thus becomes that of interpreting how 'theological concepts', whether direct or indirect, function in the writings of Benjamin.1 After the millenarian enthusiasm of Bloch's engagement with the Bible, Benjamin emerges as a wary and cautious interlocutor. I will argue that the Bible is crucial for Benjamin's thought. Put succinctly, he seeks to use the Bible and the methods of biblical studies, especially allegory, in order to break out of the myths that he saw everywhere around him...