Modern Judaism and Historical Consciousness

Identities, Encounters, Perspectives

The volume, composed by excellent scholars from different academic disciplines, is a comprehensive handbook devoted to the complex relationship between modern Judaism and historical thinking in Europe, the United States, and Israel from the Enlightenment to the present. Apart from analyzing the emergence of a new scholarly historical paradigm during this period, the contributions interpret the interaction and the tensions between Jewish historiography and other disciplines such as literature, theology, sociology, and philosophy, describe the way historical consciousness was popularized and used for ideological purposes and explore the impact of different – religious or secular – identities on the historical representation of the Jewish past. A final part envisions new theoretical and methodological concepts within the field, including cultural studies and gender studies.
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Biographical Note

Andreas Gotzmann, Ph.D. (1995) in Jewish Studies, is Professor of Jewish Studies at Erfurt University and taught at Dartmouth College. He has published extensively on Early Modern and Modern Jewish History and Jewish historiography, including Eigenheit und Einheit: Modernisierungsdiskurse des deutschen Judentums der Emanzipationszeit (Brill, 2002).
Christian Wiese, Ph.D. (1997), is Director of the Centre for German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex and taught at Erfurt University, in Montreal and Dublin, as well as at Dartmouth College. He has published extensively on modern Jewish history and thought, including Challenging Colonial Discourse: Jewish Studies and Protestant Theology in Wilhelmine Germany (Brill, 2005).

Table of contents

Andreas Gotzmann and Christian Wiese
Part I: The Emergence and Function of a New Scholarly Paradigm
1. Moses Mendelssohn and the Polemics of History
Jonathan M. Hess
2. Outside and Inside the Nations: Changing Borders in the Study of the Jewish Past during the Nineteenth Century
Nils Roemer
3. Glaube und Geschichte: A Vexed Relationship in German-Jewish Culture
David N. Myers
4. Two Persistent Tensions within Wissenschaft des Judentums
Michael A. Meyer
Part II: Jewish Historiography and Its Encounter with Other Disciplines
5. Rabbinic Literature, Rabbinic History, and Scholarly Thinking: Wissenschaft and Beyond
Richard S. Sarason
6. Religionswissenschaft and Early Reform Jewish Thought: Samuel Hirsch and David Einhorn
Gershon Greenberg
7. “The Best Antidote to Anti-Semitism”? Wissenschaft des Judentums, Protestant Biblical Scholarship, and Anti-Semitism in Germany before 1933
Christian Wiese
8. Fashioning a Neutral Zone: Jewish and Protestant Socialists Challenge Religionswissenschaft in Weimar Germany
Marc A. Krell
9. The Absence of an Encounter: Sociology and Jewish Studies
Pierre Birnbaum
10. Jewish Thought, Philosophy, and the Holocaust
Michael L. Morgan
11. “Jewish Literature” and “World Literature”: Wissenschaft des Judentums and its Concept of Literature
Andreas B. Kilcher
Part III: Ideology and Popularization in Jewish Historiography
12. Historicizing Emancipation: Jewish Historical Culture and Wissenschaft in Germany, 1912–1938
Christhard Hoffmann
13. Historiography in a Cultural Ghetto: Jewish Historians in Nazi Germany
Michael Brenner
14. From Text to Edition: Processes of Scholarly Thinking in German-Jewish Literature in the Early Nineteenth Century
Gabriele von Glasenapp
Part IV: Wissenschaft and Jewish Identity
15. Dimensions and Varieties of Orthodox Judaism
Aviezer Ravitzky
16. Which Wissenschaft? Reconstructionism’s Theological Appropriation of Sociology and Religious Naturalism
Robert M. Seltzer
17. Postzionism and Postmodern Theory: The Challenge to Jewish Studies
Laurence J. Silberstein
Part V: New Concepts and Perspectives
18. Responsive Thinking: Cultural Studies and Jewish Historiography
Jonathan Boyarin
19. Historiography as Cultural Identity: Toward a Jewish History beyond National History
Andreas Gotzmann
20. The Impact of Feminist Theory on Jewish Studies
Susannah Heschel
21. What Power for Which Jews? (Post)Modern Reflections on the Idea of Power in Jewish Historiography
Anthony D. Kauders


All those interested in modern social and intellectual history, Jewish Studies, literary and cultural studies, as well as theologians, philosophers and sociologists.


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