“A Storm is Blowing From Paradise.” Michael Löwy in Discussion with Eva Brenner and Walter Baier.

… about his book „Juifs hétérodoxes. Romantisisme, messianisme, utopie“ („Heterodox Jews. Romanticism, Messianis Utopia“)

 

With the essay collection „Juifs hétérodoxes“, published in 2010 at „Édition de l’ éclat“ in Paris, Michael Loewy returns to his theme he had dealt with already in his book „Redemption et utopie. Le judaisme libertaire en Europe centrale“ (Deutsch. Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin, 1997: „Erlösung und Utopie. Jüdischer Messianismus und libertäres Denken. Eine Wahlverwandtschaft“) published in 1988: The revolutionary Left and Judaism, i.e. the manifold relations and interconnections having existed at the beginning of the 20th century between Socialism, Communism and Anarchism on the one side, and between the libertarian, heterodox Judaism on the other side of the spectrum.

It suffices to name just a few representatives of this ellective affinity („Wahlverwandtschaft“) –  Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Gershom Sholem, Georg Lukàcs, Manès Sperber, Ernst Bloch und Martin Buber –  in order to grasp the enormous depth of this  intellectual universe.  Löwy succeeds with his work to unearth and bring back to light an important chapter of European intellectual history buried under the debris of fascism and the Cold War.

Central figure of his book and cross roads of his introductory essay about European Jewish intellectuals as well as of the following chapters dedicated to important representatives, is Walter Benjamin, whose romantic-utopian disbelief in progress which so much enthuses the Left, forms the red threat of this work. In this way, Löwy’s book contains a startling topicality when seen in context of economic crisis wars and ecological catastrophes characterizing our reality.

Michael  Löwy was born in 1938 in São Paulo as child of Jewish parents who fled Vienna in 1934 because of Austrofaschism, antisemitism, and an imminent „Anschluss“. He continued his social sciences studies of the 60s with studies of philosphy and literary science in Paris. Further study trips included the unviversities of Haifa, Jerusalem,Tel Aviv, and Manchester. Since 1977, Löwy works as research director at the „Centre national de la recherche scientifique“ (CNRS) and at the EHESS in Paris. Since the 60s he has been a member of the Trotzkyist Movement and the Fourth International. One of Löwy’s first research emphases focused on the historical development of Marxism in Latin-America, in form and content. Later followed an intensive engagement with theology of emancipation, comparative studies of Christian and Jewish messianisms in relation to Marxist and Anarchistic formation of theory in the 20th century, added by his preoccupation with the inter-connectedness between Marxism and Nationalism. Following authors such as Ernst Bloch, Löwy places special importance on carving out the utopian dimension of Marxism. Newer works are dedicated to the topics of Ecology and Socialism

 

Thurs., Feb. 23rd 2012, 7 pm

incl. audience discussion, music, video, refreshments

Moderated by Eva Brenner (FLEISCHEREI_mobil) & Walter Baier (transform!europe)

Music: CAROLINE KOCZAN (Songs)/YASUKO YAMAMOTO (piano)

Venue: Jewish Theater of Austria, Kandlgasse 6, 1070 Vienna, The Window

In Kooperation with FLEISCHEREI_mobil, Jewish Theater of Austria , Diplomatic Academy Vienna, Café 7*,  transform!europe, transform.at.  Special thanks to MA7/Wissenschafts-und Forschungsförderung, Diplomatic Academy Vienna, Okto.tv.

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As part 1 of  PETER KREISKY TALKS spring 2012 [ARTinDIALOGUE]:
„HOW TO SAVE DEMOCRACY? – from a cultural to a democracy crisis
Reports on Successes and Failures

PETER KREISKY TALKS [ARTinDIALOGUE]

„Democracy needs a long breath“ writes Peter Kreisky in his essay in the book „The Fantasy and Power, 1968 and beyond”― (Czernin Verlag, 2007, Hg. R. Löw). 2012 the talk series will be dedicated to themes on our current democracy and culture-cris/es against the backdrop of the ongoing „Great Crisis“― which after 3 years seems to not have come to a halt.

The established discussion series „ARTinDIALOGUE“ of the FLEISCHEREI_mobil presents itsself with a new subtitle  „PETER KREISKY TALKS“, in hommage to co-curator and –moderator Peter Kreisky who has supported and shaped the format for a long time. Since years, Peter Kreisky has put his enormous historical-political knowledge to the service of conception, gestalt, moderation and selection of podium-participants of the discussions, has forged new alliances and created important cross-political contacts. He surprised the public with unusual invitation politics – combining on several occasions on the podium and in portraits representatives from the worlds of science, politics, culture and activism on topical questions of socio-political development, theater, literature, on current economic as well as ecological and financial crises people who rarely meet in our society, let alone discuss. Thus, he astonished with a practice of bringing together personalities of public live with participants form minority communities to formulate new theses, themes, and discursive formats aimed at forging new social and political alternatives. The talks 2012 will be curated and co-moderatetd alternatingly by Eva Brenner, Michel Cullin (Diplomatic Academy Vienna), journalist and activist Leo Gabriel and Walter Baier, coordinator of the European Think Tank network transform!europe.

The Talks 2012 are cooperations of FLEISCHEREI_mobil, the Diplomatic Academy Vienna, transform!europe, transform-at, and OKTO.tv. The will be held at various venues within a local community setting, in cafés, theaters, and other spaces in Vienna‘s districts, and in the STUDIO-space of  OKTO.tv; Editing and airing is in the domain of Radio  ORANGE and OKTO.tv.