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Jacob Taubes (25 February 1923 – 21 March 1987) was a sociologist of religion, philosopher, and scholar of Judaism.

Jacob Taubes
Born(1923-02-25)25 February 1923
Died21 March 1987(1987-03-21) (aged 64)
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy

Taubes was born into an old rabbinical family. He was married to the writer Susan Taubes. He obtained his doctorate in 1947 for a thesis on "Occidental Eschatology" and initially taught religious studies and Jewish studies in the United States at Harvard, Columbia and Princeton University.

From 1965 he was professor of Jewish studies and hermeneutics at the Free University of Berlin. He has influenced many contemporary thinkers such as Giorgio Agamben, Susan Sontag, Avital Ronell, Marshall Berman, Babette Babich, Aleida and Jan Assmann, Amos Funkenstein and Peter Sloterdijk.

Taubes' books include Occidental Eschatology [Stanford UP, 2009] and The Political Theology of Paul [Stanford UP, 2004].


  • Babette Babich, "Ad Jacob Taubes", Debra B. Bergoffen, Babich, and David B. Allison, eds., New Nietzsche Studies: Nietzsche and the Jews. 7, 3 & 4, (Fall 2007/Winter 2008): v-x.
  • Joshua Robert Gold, "Jacob Taubes: 'Apocalypse From Below'", Telos 134 (Spring 2006): 140–56.
  • Nitzan Lebovic, "Jacob Taubes: Looking into the Beauty of the Night", H-Judaic (Spring, 2011):