"The East within us": Leo Strauss's reinterpretation of Heidegger

David McIlwain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Leo Strauss's grand theme, the theological-political problem, has its basis in the predicament of being a philosopher in a political society. As a Jew and a philosopher, Strauss also faced the entanglement of Judaism and German philosophy culminating in Heidegger's historicism. These related challenges prompted Strauss's recognition of the first steps for philosophy in a global epoch. Strauss reinterpreted Heidegger's religious anticipation of a "meeting of East and West" as a philosophical re-encounter with the Bible as "the East within us." Whereas the Bible challenges the rationality of the philosophical way of life, this "Bible as Eastern" challenges rationalism itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-253
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Bible
  • Biblical tradition
  • Historicism
  • Leo Strauss
  • Martin Heidegger
  • Quid sit deus
  • Theologico-political problem


Dive into the research topics of '"The East within us": Leo Strauss's reinterpretation of Heidegger'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this