Volume 8, Issue 4, Summer 1994
Steven T. Ostovich
Messianic History in Benjamin and Metz
History is not the record of humanity’s progress through otherwise empty time. It is rather to be conceived messianically, i.e., in terms of God’s eschatological promises and the interruptive capacity of dangerous memories of human suffering. This insight is contained in both the historical philosophy of Walter Benjamin and the political theology of Johann Baptist Metz. Metz’s theological categories also contribute an understanding of messianic history that avoids the dualism of Benjamin’s description of history in both messianic and materialist terms.