Religion, Redemption and Revolution

The New Speech Thinking of Franz Rosenzweig
and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy

Wayne Cristaudo

It has often been said that the dialogue between Rosenstock-Huessy and Rosenzweig opened a new era of Jewish Christian dialogue. But few scholars have really grappled with the subject matter of their dialogue or considered how the two men themselves saw this new era in the Jewish-Christian relationship. Until now there has been no comprehensive attempt to address their different points of view and their different understandings of Jewish and Christian history.

Wayne Cristaudo’s Religion, Redemption and Revolution changes all that. It is the first book written out of a profound knowledge of both Rosenstock-Huessy’s and Rosenzweig’s work in almost fifty years. If for no other reason than that, the book deserves our attention and the author our gratitude. The review of this book in the Journal of Religion welcomed

Cristaudo’s effort to present the basic features of Rosenzweig’s and Rosenstock-Huessy’s  thought [as] a welcome and important contribution to the field… Presenting the two thinkers together is to offer correctives to the scholarship on Rosenzweig… Cristaudo identifies important and understudied themes in Rosenzweig’s work and sheds light on these topics by juxtaposing his and Rosenstock-Huessy’s thought… [The] book makes… a strong case for the relevance of Rosenzweig’s and Rosenstock-Huessy’s thought in contemporary philosophical and religious debates.

Cristaudo proposes a religious view in which the central issue is not the existence of  God, but the love which overpowers people and redirects our lives, the process to which we give the name of “God.” This book is not only of tremendous value for people interested in Jewish-Christian dialogue, but for people interested in history and the needed exchange between our Western heritage and pre-Western and pre-Christian ways of life.

Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 2012