Dr Eric Jacobson

Department of Humanities


I teach Philosophy, Jewish Studies, Theology and Religious Studies and am concerned with the relationship between religion and violence. My area of expertise is Modern Jewish Thought, 19th and 20th century German-Jewish philosophy and culture, and the conflict between reason and tradition.

I am currently preparing a book on Hannah Arendt, sponsored by the Library of Congress and a larger research grant from the British Academy.

1998 Free University of Berlin
2000 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
2001 University of Erfurt
2002 University of Sussex
2004 The Library of Congress
2008 Kurt David Brühl Guest Professor in Jewish Studies, University of Graz, Austria


BA, MA (US), Dr Phil (Berlin)

Consultancy experience



"The Zionism of Hannah Arendt: 1941-1948" in Judaism, Liberalism and Political Theology, eds. Randi Rashkover and Martin Kavka, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013. 

"Ein Gespräch über 1942 (Poznan): Die Entwicklung des Werks / A Conversation on 1942 (Poznan): The Journey of the Work" in Uriel Orlow, Time is a Place, Nürnberg: Verlag für Moderne Kunst, 2012, 25-32. 

"The Future of the Kabbalah: On the Dislocation of Past  Primacy, the Problem of Evil and the Future of Illusions" in: Kabbalah and Modernity, eds. Boaz Huss, Marco Pasi and Kocku von Stuckrad, Leiden: Brill 2009, 47-76. 

"Locating the Messianic: In Search of Causation and Benjamin's Last Message" in Journal of Cultural Research Vol. 13, No. 3, 2009, 207-223.

"Hannah Arendt 1906-1975" in Intellectual History Review Vol. 17, No. 1, February 2007, 65-73.

"Theories of Justice, Profane and Prophetic" in Gershom Scholem (1897-1982) - In Memoriam, Vol. II, Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought, No. 21, ed. Joseph Dan, Jerusalem: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2007, 59-75.

"Presence and Absence in the Work of Art" [Holocaust Art] in Deposits, ed. Uriel Orlow, Berlin: Greenbox Press, 2006, 35-46.

"Ahavat Yisrael: Nationhood, the Pariah and the Intellectual" in Creation and Recreation in Jewish Thought, eds. Rachel Elior and Peter Schaefer, Tuebingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005, 401-415.

"Hans Jonas und der Gottesbegriff nach Auschwitz" [Jonas and the Concept of God after Auschwitz] in Weiterwohnlichkeit der Welt. Zur Aktualität von Hans Jonas, Berlin: Philo Verlag, 2003, 166-183.

"Understanding Walter Benjamin's Theological-Political Fragment", Jewish Studies Quarterly (Berlin, Vol. 8, No. 3, November 2001, 205-247.

"Anarchismo e traditione ebraica: Gershom Scholem" [Anarchism and Jewish Tradition] in L'anarchio e l'ebreo, ed. A. Bertolo, Milan: Elèuthera 2001, 55-75.

ユダヤにおける政治神学:W・ベンヤミンとG・ショーレム "Toward a Political Theology of Judaism" [Japanese] in Namal, Journal of the Japanese Institute for Jewish Culture (Kobe Vol. 5, 2000), pp. 20-30.


Das Kunstwerk und die Erinnerung. Dem Vergangenen im Bild eine Präsenz geben
Vorlesung des Centrums für Jüdische Studien, Band III. Graz: Leykam / Grazer Universitätsverlag, 2011,  65pp. 

Weiterwohnlichkeit der Welt. Zur Aktualität von Hans Jonas
mit C. Wiese, Berlin: Philo Verlag, 2003, 380pp.

Metaphysics of the Profane: The Political Theology of Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem
New York: Columbia University Press, 2003,  337pp.


Intellectual History Review, Vol. 20 No. 1, 2010:

Michael L. Morgan, Discovering Levinas , Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Notre Dame Philosophical Review, April 2009:

Stéphane Mosès, The Angel of History: Rosenzweig, Benjamin, Scholem . Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009.   


AJS Review, Vol. 33 No. 2, 2009:

Hilary Putnam, Jewish Philosophy as a Guide to Life: Rosenzweig, Buber, Levinas, Wittgenstein . Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008.

AJS Review, Vol. 33 No. 1, 2009:

Christian Wiese, The Life and Thought of Hans Jonas: Jewish Dimensions . Waltham, Mass: Brandeis University Press, 2007.

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Department news

Roehampton academic brings 2500-year-old vase to life with new animation

Dr Sonya Nevin, Research Fellow in the Department of Humanities at the University of Roehampton has created a new animation of a 2500-year-old vase to show what life was like in ancient Greece.

Professor busts 450-year-old myths about popular Elizabethan John Dee

Professor Glyn Parry from the Department of Humanities argues that much of what we think we know about John Dee, an alchemist, astrologist, magician, and one-time advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, may actually be lies created by Dee himself.

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