Pathos and Sympathy

Joseph Redfield Palmisano

in Beyond the Walls

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199925025
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980451 | DOI:


Pathos and Sympathy

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The chapter assembles a “personalist” hermeneutic by way of Emmanuel Mounier's Personalism. Mounier's personalist hermeneutic gives us a lens for examining how pathos may call the prophetic witness—as a person—into relationship with the divine Subject. Through this call and response dialectic, we examine the nature and kind of the prophet's “sympathetic” response with a critical question for Heschel in mind: if God is the Subject, then may the prophetic witness also be qualified as a subject beyond the reification of being an unqualified “prophetic” extension (vasum Dei) of the divine? Stein's articulation of the prophet as a unique, independent center of action pushes Heschel to consider how the prophet may enter an authentic—as he argues trans-subjective—situation with the divine, beyond the “non-mutual” category of becoming a non-self.

Keywords: con-primordiality; Pathos; Personalism; prophetic sympathy; Mounier; mutuality; non-self

Chapter.  7198 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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