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To Carl SchmittLetters and Reflections$
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Jacob Taubes

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231154123

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231154123.001.0001

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Carl Schmitt

Carl Schmitt

Apocalyptic Prophet of the Counterrevolution

(p.1) Carl Schmitt
To Carl Schmitt

Jacob Taubes

Keith Tribe

Mike Grimshaw

Columbia University Press

In the lecture presented in this chapter, Jacob Taubes attests to his respect for Carl Schmitt, even though as a “conscious Jew” he belongs among those whom Schmitt has marked as the “enemy.” At the outset, Taubes claims that to truly understand Schmitt one should not turn to his “major, clamorous texts” but rather should read his “broken confessions,” which were published as Ex Captivitate Salus in 1950. Taubes argues that Schmitt's “enemy,” defined from the perspective of a legal theorist, offers something that a theological definition does not. According to Taubes, the theological enemy is usually defined as one to be destroyed. The alternative possibility offered by the nontheological, legal enemy is that such an enemy must still be opposed, but not necessarily destroyed. Taubes also comments on Schmitt's engagement with and within National Socialism, as well as his treatise Political Theology, suggesting that Schmitt can be read and understood both as a jurist and as an apocalyptic prophet of the counterrevolution. For Taubes, the drive of political theology is that of “an apocalypse of the counterrevolution”.

Keywords:   enemy, Jacob Taubes, Carl Schmitt, Ex Captivitate Salus, political theology, National Socialism, apocalypse, counterrevolution

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