German Literature Between Faiths: Jew and Christian at Odds and in Harmony

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Peter Meister
Peter Lang, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 244 pages
Religion is a central concern of German literature in all centuries, and the canon looks different when this perspective is acknowledged. For example, Goethe's fascination with evil is difficult to disentangle from the Holocaust, Moses Mendelssohn is as profound as the playwright who portrayed him, and «Princess Sabbath» deserves to be numbered among Heine's more enchanting lyrics.
This essay collection posits, and tests, the hypothesis that German literature at its best is often an expression or investigation of Judaism or Christianity at their best; but that the best German literature is not always the best-known, and vice versa. Asking whether the New Testament is anti-Jewish (and answering in the negative), essayists range through the German centuries from The Heliand to Kafka and Thomas Mann.

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About the author (2004)

The Editor: Peter Meister teaches German at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the University of Virginia (M.A., Ph.D.). He has written The Healing Female in the German Courtly Romance and edited Arthurian Literature and Christianity: Notes from the Twentieth Century.

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