ABSTRACT

Religion and ethics in mid-twentieth-century Europe appeared in terms of the dominant contemporary ideologies, as outdated, indeed atavistic phenomena.1 Science and politics, o en in strange and atrocious combinations, appeared to supersede religion and ethics in molding the fate of humanity. e goals of redemption and salvation, consolation and meaning, had been usurped by competing ideologies, those of Nazism, Marxism, and liberal capitalism, among others. ese ideologies shared a common pretension to scienti cality and an understanding of the ends (or non-ends) of humankind in terms of political and historically determinate solutions. In such terms religion and ethics – if they had any real value – were matters of the private sphere alone. Yet, and in part in response to this situation, this same period witnessed a renewal of intellectual traditions within Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism coupled with an increasingly insistent emphasis on the transcendent – conceived in ethicoreligious terms – in opposition to the immanent spheres of technological science and politics.