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The Disclosure of PoliticsStruggles Over the Semantics of Secularization$
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Maria Lara

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231162807

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231162807.001.0001

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The Model of Translation

The Model of Translation

From Religion to Politics

(p.59) 2 The Model of Translation
The Disclosure of Politics

María Pía Lara

Columbia University Press

This chapter analyzes Karl Löwith's literal translation of religious contents into politics. Löwith wrote Meaning in History (1949) to critique the notion of progress and its relation to Christian eschatology. Although his thinking was shared by many theorists during the 1940s and 1950s, his work was not systematically criticized. Meaning and History also focused on Jacob Burckhardt's view of history, interpreting it as the “soundest modern reflection of history,” because he understands both classical and Christian positions without committing to either of them. Paradoxically, Löwith's work survives mainly because of his ideas about literal translation. But he failed to make clear why the pagan view of history provides a better perspective for a philosophy of history related to politics.

Keywords:   Karl Löwith, religious content, politics, Meaning and History, Jacob Burckhardt

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