chapter  Chapter 11
21 Pages

“Actualised messianism”

The theological conceptualisation of crisis, identity and transformation
WithAngelica Löwe

In his search for Jewish inwardness, Neumann oriented himself towards Hasidism, whose concentration on the present as a space of salvation strikes him as a fitting approach to individuation. Hasidism is concerned with “fulfilling the messianic stage in one’s own soul,” which Neumann calls “actualised Messianism.” Kabbalistic narratives such as those about the tzimtzum, God’s self-contraction and tikkun, and the human redemption of the sparks, play an important role in this respect. Neumann addressed this topic for the first time in his “Zur Tiefenpsychologie des jüdischen Menschen.” It reappears, in secularised-anthropological form, in his later works, first in his inaugural Eranos lecture “Mystical Man,” delivered in 1948. The clash between ego-consciousness, which is oriented towards continuity, and the wholly other, oriented toward discontinuity and epiphany, enables transformation.