This article reads Aby Warburg's and Walter Benjamin's work on the astrological movements of the Reformation era in dialogue with the theory of relations between the spiritual and the temporal developed in Protestant "war theology" during World War I. War theology developed themes already present in historical Protestant doctrine, notably Luther's Two Kingdoms theory (Zwei Reiche Lehre). Warburg and Benjamin were wrestling with the challenge of living at a time of great conflict in a highly sacralized——rather than secularized——world with deep roots in early modern Lutheranism. Max Weber was working out his ideas about magic, Calvinism, and secularization at the same time. The article thus also suggests the need to reassess his theses about the emergence of a secular world purged of irrationalism in dialogue with Warburg's and Benjamin's work.
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Research Article| February 01 2009
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Jane O. Newman; Enchantment in Times of War: Aby Warburg, Walter Benjamin, and the Secularization Thesis. Representations 1 February 2009; 105 (1): 133–167. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/rep.2009.105.1.133
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