The Kingdom of God. Martin Buber's Critique of Messianic Politics

Paul Mendes-Flohr


Through a textual and contextual analysis of Martin Buber’s scholarly disquisition, Königtum Gottes (1932), the article focuses on his critique of political Messianism. This critique is addressed to his friends who participated in the Bavarian Revolution of 1918/19, the political theology of Friedrich Gogarten and Carl Schmitt, and given trends in Zionism. This article discusses the affinities of Buber’s critique of political Messianism with that of Max Weber who like Buber called for a political and ethical re-valorization of the everyday. This call is contrasted with Walter Benjamin’s political Messianism, whose dialectic in effect endorses a similar ethos.