[ERH Society] Cristaudo on cosmopolitanism

Norman Fiering norman_fiering at brown.edu
Fri Oct 14 15:25:41 EDT 2016

Dear members of the ERH Society of North America:

Rosenstock-Huessy stated at various times that the destiny of mankind is unity and peace, without ever suggesting that these ends could be realized without gigantic and persistent human effort and sacrifice.  Peace is perhaps easy to envision, although it is not simply the absence of war. It consists more of people being able to speak to each other continually. 

The meaning of unity is harder to untangle, as are Rosenstock’s references to the Great Society or the Planetary Society to be attained in the Johannine Third Millennium AD.  In this future “organization” of the world, will there be nation states? Spatial loyalties? Religious and ethnic loyalties, which may take precedence over a liberal demand for toleration? Universal values?

Below is a link to a new essay by Wayne Cristaudo, “Revolutions, Wars and the Jewish and Christian Contribution to Redemptive Cosmopolitanism in Franz Rosenzweig and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy,” which appears in the European Review of History, vol. xxiii, issue 5-6 (2016). The term “cosmopolitanism” refers here to world unity and peace, and the question is, what must underlie it for it to work. The usual answers refer, directly or indirectly, to the Enlightenment project, meaning a beautiful future achieved through reason, law, inherent moral norms, civil discourse, or what have you, and definitely secular.

 Cristaudo, the author of the best book we have now about Rosenstock-Huessy’s thought, Religion, Redemption and Revolution: The New Speech Thinking of Franz Rosenzweig and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy (2012), cuts against the grain of the ongoing discussion of cosmopolitanism by asserting that the roots of European values are religious, despite the pagan Greek etymology of the term cosmopolis, and FR and ERH are his predominant guides in making the argument.

Cristaudo, Revolutions.webloc

Wayne welcomes commentary.  Write to:<Wayne.Cristaudo at cdu.edu.au>

 Norman Fiering 



Norman Fiering
(Director and Librarian, Emeritus
John Carter Brown Library)
Correspondence should be directed to:
P. O. Box 603233, Providence, 
RI 02906
Norman_Fiering at brown.edu

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