“O Death, Where is Your Victory? O Death, Where is Your Sting?” (Corinthians 15:55) - J’Accuse (1919) by Abel Gance
To articulate the past historically does not mean to recognize it ‘the way it really was’ (Ranke). It means to seize hold of a memory as it flashes up at a moment of danger. Historical materialism wishes to retain that image of the past which unexpectedly appears to man singled out by history at a moment of danger. The danger affects both the content of the tradition and its receivers. The same threat hangs over both: that of becoming a tool of the ruling classes. In every era the attempt must be made anew to wrest tradition away from a conformism that is about to overpower it. The Messiah comes not only as the redeemer, he comes as the subduer of Antichrist. Only that historian will have the gift of fanning the spark of hope in the past who is firmly convinced that even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious.
Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28)
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (Corinthians 15:26)
Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep; but we shall all be changed. (Corinthians 15:51)