Jewish Scholarship and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Germany: Between History and Faith

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Univ of Wisconsin Press, Oct 1, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 254 pages
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    German Jews were fully assimilated and secularized in the nineteenth century—or so it is commonly assumed. In Jewish Scholarship and Culture in the Nineteenth Century, Nils Roemer challenges this assumption, finding that religious sentiments, concepts, and rhetoric found expression through a newly emerging theological historicism at the center of modern German Jewish culture.
    Modern German Jewish identity developed during the struggle for emancipation, debates about religious and cultural renewal, and battles against anti-Semitism. A key component of this identity was historical memory, which Jewish scholars had begun to infuse with theological perspectives beginning in the 1850s. After German reunification in the early 1870s, Jewish intellectuals reevaluated their enthusiastic embrace of liberalism and secularism. Without abandoning the ideal of tolerance, they asserted a right to cultural religious difference for themselves--an ideal they held to even more tightly in the face of growing anti-Semitism. This newly re-theologized Jewish history, Roemer argues, helped German Jews fend off anti-Semitic attacks by strengthening their own sense of their culture and tradition.

 

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Contents

Introduction
3
Historicizing Judaism
13
Fissures and Unity
47
Challenges and Responses
79
Reading Jewish History in the Fin de Siecle
109
Conclusion
143
Notes
155
Bibliography
215
Index
245
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Page x - Library, and the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem.

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About the author (2005)

Nils Roemer is currently the Ian Karten Lecturer in Jewish History at the University of Southampton. He is the co-editor of Jüdische Geschichte lesen: Texte der jüdischen Geschichtsschreibung im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (2003) and numerous articles and essays on modern Jewish intellectual and cultural history.

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