German Jews: A Dual Identity
When the German-Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig entitled his 1926 collection of essays on Jewish and universal cultural topics Zweistromland-a land of two rivers-he meant to underscore, indeed celebrate, the fact that German-Jewish culture is nurtured by both German culture and the Jewish religious and cultural heritage. In this thought-provoking book, Paul Mendes-Flohr explores through the prism of Rosenzweig’s image how German Jews have understood and contended with their twofold spiritual patrimony. He deepens the discussion to consider also how the German-Jewish experience bears upon the general modern experience of living with multiple cultural identities.German Jews assimilated the cultural values of Germany but were not themselves assimilated into German society, Mendes-Flohr contends. Yet, by virtue of their adoption of values sponsored by enlightened German discourse, they were no longer unambiguously Jewish. The author discusses how their identity and cultural loyalty became fractured and how German Jews-like other Jews and indeed like all denizens of the modern world-were obliged to confront the challenges of living with plural identities and cultural affiliations.
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affirmation antisemitism Arbeit am nationalen assimilation Assmann Avenarius Babylon Benjamin to Strauss Berlin Bildung Bildungsburgertum Blumenfeld century Chapter cited conception deutsche Deutschland Deutschtum und Judentum dialectical Emancipation Enlightenment essay ethical Europe European Frankfurt Franz Rosenzweig George Mosse German culture German Jews Germans and Jews Gershom Scholem Glatzer Goethe Goldstein Gustav Landauer Hebrew Heinrich Heinrich von Treitschke Hermann Cohen human humanistic Ibid ideal Institute Year Book intellectual Israel Jacob Katz Jewish Culture Jewish Emancipation Jewish learning Jewish Renaissance Jewry Jewry's Jews and Germans Jews Beyond Judaism Jiidische Juden Judentum and Deutschtum Judische Kant Kocka Kunstwart Landauer Leo Baeck Institute Lessing's Letter liberal Ludwig Strauss Martin Buber modern Jew Modern World Moses Mendelssohn Mosse Nathan numbers one's Paul Mendes-Flohr philosopher political reality religion religious Rudi Samuel Meyer Ehrenberg Scholem Schriften social soul spiritual symbiosis tion tradition trans Treitschke ture University Press Verlag Volkov Walter Benjamin Weimar Wilhelm York Zionist Zunz Zweistromland