Dr Federico Filauri

Contact details

Dr Federico Filauri
Former research student
Institute of Languages Cultures and Societies
Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies School of Advanced Study University of London Senate House Malet Street London WC1E 7HU
Email address:
Graduate (2024)

Publication Details

Publications available on SAS-space:

Date Details
Mar-2024 Ernst Bloch's Messianism. The Inheritance of a Theological Trope and its Political-Philosophical Significance


The thesis consists in a historical-philosophical study of German-Jewish thought of the Twentieth Century, with an emphasis on theological-political aspects, aiming to contribute to the understanding of the religious background within which Ernst Bloch acquired and reformulated messianic tropes by analysing their multiple shades of meaning. The thesis starts with a brief survey of past and current scholarship on Bloch’s messianism, underlining the shortcomings of available interpretations. The thesis then reconstructs the complexities of the meaning of ‘messianism’ by tracing a social history of the term, from its emergence in German Romanticism, to Polish Romantic Messianism, liberal Judaism and its counterpoint in the radicalisation of the Jewish messianic idea at the beginning of the 20th century, discussing Bloch and his contemporaries. From there, the thesis focuses on Bloch only, analysing the various sources of his philosophy of religion, showing how Jewish, Christian and Gnostic mythologems are selected and used. This leads to the discussion of some theoretical aspects of Bloch’s philosophy. In so far as mythologems are politically charged, inherited and tap into the principle of hope, the thesis needs to clarify Bloch’s broader concept of the ‘political’, the process of inheritance and the notion of ‘principle’. These discussions allow to move on to the re-appraisal of Bloch’s messianism. The thesis demonstrates the role and value of the various mythologems in composing an original appropriation of the messianic trope. The thesis shows how Judeo-Christian mythologems, tinged with Gnostic overtones and twisted by Bloch’s atheism, address the problems of the fundaments of political actions and allow to envisage the ultimate political goal in the form of a sui generis theocracy. Lastly, the thesis discusses the contribution of Bloch’s philosophy to current debates in political theology, distinguishing between strong and weak messianism, this latter further divided into positive and negative weak messianism.

Research Projects & Supervisions
PhD Topic:

Ernst Bloch and the Messianic Idea in the Twentieth Century

My current research project consists in a historical-philosophical study of German-Jewish thought of the Twentieth Century, with an emphasis on theological-political aspects.
After a brief survey of the origin and development of messianic faith, seeking the places from which Bloch drew his messianic conceptions, I will provide an original interpretation of two cardinal structures of Blochian thought – not-yet-being and exodus –, investigating their relationship with theological concepts. Furthermore, the thesis will engage with theologico-political theories, questioning their assumptions about the genealogy of modern sovereignty.
In so doing I aim to bring about a reassessment of the features and roles played by messianism in Bloch’s thought, contributing to a better understanding of his Jewish background. Moreover, I intend to inspect the influence that religious concepts drawn from the Jewish tradition may have on the development of theoretical constructs inside the western thought tradition.

Dr Johan Siebers
Research interests:
Philosophy, Politics, Romanticism, Socialism, Communism, Anarchism

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