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The Broken Middle: Out of Our Ancient Society



The Broken Middle: Out of Our Ancient Society

Gillian Rose

ISBN: 978-0-631-18221-4 April 1992 Wiley-Blackwell 356 Pages


The Broken Middle offers a startlingly original rethinking of the modern philosophical tradition and fundamentally rejects the anti-philosophy and anti-theory of post-modernity. Extending across the disciplines from philosophy to theology, Judaica, law, social and political theory, literary criticism, feminism and architecture, this book stakes itself on a renewed potential for sustained critique. Against the grain of much contemporary thought, this work of criticism offers the reader a way beyond the spurious alternatives of "totalization" or acknowledgement of the "other".

The Broken Middle expounds the phenomenology of the diremption of law and ethics. By reconstructing the suppressed political history of modernity, it shows that contemporary thought belongs to a tradition which has become ancient. Following this drama in the configuration of anxiety of beginning, equivocation of the ethical, and agon of authorship, the logos opens out of the pathos of the concept.


Introduction: Diremption of Spirit.

Part One From the Middle in the Beginning.

1. Personae of the System: Kierkegaard, Hegel and Blanchot.

2. Regina and Felice - In Repetition of Her: Kierkegaard and Kafka.

3. Anxiety of Beginning: Kierkegaard, Freud and Lacan.

Part Two From the Beginning in the Middle.

4. Repetition in the Feast: Mann and Girard.

5. Love and the State: Varnhagen, Luxemburg and Arendt.

6. New Political Theology - Out of Holocaust and Liberation: Levinas, Rosenzweig and Fackenheim.

Preface: Pathos of the Concept.

Select Bibliography.


"... This book is one of the most important written by a British philosopher and social theorist in recent times." John Milbank
* Author's reputation as an original philosopher.
* An original, controversial and complex book.