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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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Thirty Years of Refusal

(p.49) 1948–1978
To Carl Schmitt

Jacob Taubes

Keith Tribe

Mike Grimshaw

Columbia University Press

In the lecture contained in this chapter, Jacob Taubes reflects on the history of his relationship with Carl Schmitt that goes back to 1948 and lasted until 1978, a period of thirty years. Taubes recalls the first time he encountered Schmitt's Verfassungslehre and his search for the book in the library. He then talks about how he wrote a letter to Armin Mohler regarding Schmitt's flirtation with the Nazis. In America, he was invited to present a paper to a seminar run by a political scientist, Professor Eliot; he gave a paper on political theology, on Schmitt, about his mystic phase, and the democratic phase that Schmitt had. Taube then began to receive Schmitt's writings complete with dedications and references. Taube also talks about Schmitt's impact on liberalism and the radical left's critique of parliamentarianism. Finally, he offers two theses on what Adolf Hitler, Martin Heidegger, and Schmitt share in common: first, German culture during the Weimar Republic and also the Wilhelminian era was Protestant, with a slight admixture of Jewishness; second, all three were lapsed Catholics.

Keywords:   left, Jacob Taubes, Carl Schmitt, Nazis, political theology, liberalism, parliamentarianism, Adolf Hitler, Martin Heidegger, Weimar Republic

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