Professor Daniel Weidner
Associate director of the ZfL
Professor at the Institute for Cultural History and Theory, Humboldt University of Berlin
Trained in German and comparative literature Daniel Weidner received his PhD in 2000 and his Habilitation (second thesis) in 2009 at the Freie Universität Berlin. He teaches German and Comparative Literature at the Freie Universität and has been Visiting Professor in Gießen, Basel, Stanford, and Chicago.
His main areas of research are the interrelation of religion and literature, theories of secularization, the history of philology and literary theory, and German-Jewish literature.
- religion and literature
- history of philology and literary theory
- german-jewish literature
He has published two monographs: an intellectual biography on Gershom Scholem, and a study on the interrelation of the Bible and literature in the 18th and early 19th centuries; he has also co-authored a book on the interplay between religion, politics, aesthetics, and epistemology in early modern sacramental representation. Among his edited volumes are collections on the cultural afterlife of religion, on reading the Bible, and on Walter Benjamin.
He is also co-editor of the Benjamin-Studien (the Yearbook of the International Walter Benjamin Society), and of the journals Weimarer Beiträge (with a focus on contemporary literature, media, and aesthetics), and Naharaim (focus on German Jewish intellectual history).
Selected English articles:
- “Going together without coming together”: “Die Kreatur” (1926–1929) and Why We Should Read German Jewish Journals Differently, in: Naharaim 2016; 10/1: S. 103–126.
- Reading the Wound. Peter Szondi’s Essay on ›The Tragic‹ and Walter Benjamin, in: S. Zepp (ed.: Textual understanding and Historical Experience. On Peter Szondi (Makom Nr. 11), München 2015, p. 55–69.
- The Rhetoric of Secularization, in: New German Critique 121 (2014), p. 1–31
- The Political Theology of Ethical Monotheism, in: Randi Rashkover, Martin Kavka (Eds.): Judaism, Liberalism, and Political Theology, Bloomington: Indiana University Press 2013, p. 178–196
- Neither Here nor There. Hermann Broch’s Writing in Exile, in: K. Neuburger (ed.): Recasting the »Other«: Readings in German Jewish Interwar Culture and Its Aftermath (Yearbook for European Jewish Literature Studies Nr. 3), Berlin 2015, p. 171–194
- Thinking beyond Secularization. Walter Benjamin, the »Religious Turn,« and the Poetics of Theory, in: New German Critique 111 (2010), p. 131–148
- Reading Gershom Scholem, in: The Jewish Quarterly Review 96/2 (2006), p. 203–231
- Secularization, Scripture, and the Theory of Reading. J.G. Herder and the Old Testament, in: New German Critique 94 (2005), p. 169–193
Selected recent papers:
- Pluralities, Memories, Translations. Remarks on European Cultures of Knowledge in the Humanities
paper given at the conference: Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities. Developing a common ground for/in Horizon 2020, Vilnius, September 2013
- Life after Life. A Figure of Thought in Walter Benjamin
paper given at the Conference: Afterlife. Writing and Image in Walter Benjamin and Aby Warburg, Universidad Federal de Minais Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brasil, October 2012
- Return of Religion, Theological Turn? The Humanities and their Religious Wound
paper given at the Conference: The Future of Humanities, van Leer Institute, Jerusalem, September 2012
- Speaking Boldly. The Prophetic in 20th Century Political Thought
paper given at Lehigh University, Bethlehem (Pennsylvania), April 2012.