After Tragedy and Triumph: Essays in Modern Jewish Thought and the American Experience

After Tragedy and Triumph: Essays in Modern Jewish Thought and the American Experience

by Michael Berenbaum


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The story of American Jewry is inextricably entwined with the awesome defeat of the Holocaust and the rebirth of the state of Israel. However, for Michael Berenbaum, and others of his generation, whose adult consciousness included the war in Lebanon and the Palestinian Uprisings, the tale is more anguished, for the Jewish People are now divided, uncertain about the implications of the past and the direction of their future. Berenbaum explores the Jewish identity of this generation, the first to mature after tragedy and triumph. He probes the Holocaust's impact on Jewish consciousness and the imprint of American culture on Jewish identity. Challenging Zionism's conventional assumptions, he details American Jews' changing relationship to Israel as he examines the tensions created within Jewish tradition between a history of victimization and the empowerment of Jews. While demonstrating that the security of victory is one step from the anguish of victims, even when the victors have recently emerged from the fire, Berenbaum holds out the hope of liberation for Judaism, maintaining that five thousand years of history, with its chapter of Holocaust and empowerment, provide a unique foundation upon which to build a future. Michael Berenbaum is Hymen Goldman Professor of Theology at Georgetown University and Project Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. He is the author or editor of several books, including The Vision of the Void: Theological Reflections on the Works of Elie Wiesel and The Holocaust: Religious and Political Implications (with John Roth).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521099929
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 01/18/2009
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Richard L. Rubenstein; Introduction; Part I. The Holocaust in Contemporary American Culture: 1. The nativisation of the Holocaust; 2. The uniqueness and universality of the Holocaust; 3. Public commemoration of the Holocaust; 4. Is the centrality of the Holocaust overemphasised? Two dialogues; 5. Issues in teaching the Holocaust; 6. What we should teach our children; 7. The shadows of the Holocaust; Part II. Jewish Thought and Modern History: 8. Franz Rosenzweig and Martin Buber Reconsidered; 9. The problem of pluralism in contemporary orthodoxy: philosophy and politics; 10. From Auschwitz to Oslo: the journey of Elie Wiesel; 11. Jacob Neusner and the renewal of an ever-dying people; 12. Political Zionism's would-be successors: sectarianism, Messianism, nationalism, and secularism; 13. The situation of the American Jew; Notes; Index.

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