In his excellent Religion, Redemption and Revolution: The New Speech Thinking Revolution of Franz Rozenzweig and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy , Wayne Cristaudo explains the difference between Platonic dialogue and the dialogic thinking of Rosenzweig and Rosenstock-Huessy. Socrates dialogs, but he “knows exactly what it is he wishes to give birth to: wisdom and virtue. With Socrates, the journey always begins toward a form that is partially known but not yet fully understood.”

Rosenzweig and Rosenstock, by contrast, “begin and remain active within the unknown, the mystery, the contingent, the trust or faith in what constantly defies accepted wisdom and convention.” They both take a stand within a tradition, Jewish or Christian, but this does not pre-determine the course of dialog precisely because both traditions trust in a “living moving God” who “always forces one to the outer edges of existence and the periphery of social consensus” (29). Because their dialog takes place with faith in the living God, it always has the capacity for surprise.

More on: Theology

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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