The focus of this project is on the theogonic narratives as various alternations of Hegelianism, which disseminated across Central and Eastern Europe. As one of them, Ivan Ilyin’s own pessimistic theogony has severe political consequences in contemporary Russia. Building on Ludwig Feuerbach’s thesis that every theology conceals a certain philosophical anthropology, Zawisza's research goal is to rearticulate those theogonies which may constitute the political theology of the Western world, in particular the Jewish, kabbalistic conception of tsimtsum.
Hans Blumenberg stated that modernity, after Christianity, was the second attempt to overcome gnosis. Since modernity is endangered, the role of its upholder was assumed by Hannah Arendt’s natalism, reflection on natality, forming the hidden core of her writings. It constitutes a retroactive riposte for the revival of Augustinian problematic in German Lebensphilosophie. Arendt’s secular messianism, sprang from the fact of birth, heralds a philosophy of life that cannot be expressed in biopolitical vocabulary which remains insusceptible to cryptotheology.
The early works of Hannah Arendt – Der Liebesbegriff bei Augustin and Rahel Varnhagen – greatly inspired her later thought. Arendt indirectly participated in the Weimar political-theological debates, and her defence of the ‘pretheological sphere’ could be seen as a critical response to Carl Schmitt’s political theology. She was also influenced by Max Weber’s theory of secularization and studies on Jewry. The project aims at contextualizing Arendt within the Weimar debates, in which contemporary discussions on secularization still remain rooted.