Jews and Their Future: A Conversation on Judaism and Jewish Identities

Jews and Their Future: A Conversation on Judaism and Jewish Identities

Paperback(First Edition)

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Esther Benbassa and Jean-Christophe Attias pose a number of controversial questions that challenge prevailing myths and attitudes about Judaism, upsetting conformist discourses and received ideas. What if the Jews were not the "descendants" of the Hebrews? What if the Jewish Book was more the Talmud than the Bible? What if medieval judeophobia could not be identified with modern anti-Semitism? What if orthodoxy was not a return to cultural origins but a new creation? What if Zionism had succeeded precisely thanks to its failures? What if the time had come to stop denying the tensions between Israel and the Diaspora? Between Ashkenazis and Sephardis? Between fundamentalists and liberals? And what if, in particular, the transformation of the memory of the Holocaust into a civil religion was now the main barrier to the universalism that, with exile and the celebration of life, has always been the heart of Jewish experience? This provocative and illuminating dialogue explores the very foundations of Jewish culture, with the spirit of inquiry and freedom of thought the authors believe will invigorate current debates.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781842773918
Publisher: Zed Books
Publication date: 04/03/2004
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.42(w) x 8.58(h) x 0.49(d)

About the Author

Esther Benbassa and Jean-Christophe Attias are Professors of Jewish Histrory and Culture at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Sorbonne, Paris.

Table of Contents

What Is it to Be a Jew?
• Modernity and Jewishness
• From Anti-Judaism to Anti-Semitism
• Jewish Nationalism and Zionism
• Remembering the Genocide: a New Civil Religion?
• Ashkenazis and Sephardis: Exchanging Looks
• Judaism, Christianity, Islam: Combining Differences
• Secularization and Jewish Morality
• Being a Woman and Jewish
• To Remain Jewish, to Become Jewish Again, or to Reinvent Judaism?
• Diaspora Identities, Israeli Identities
• From Communitarian Affirmation to the Temptation to Withdraw
• Israel Seen from within and from the Diaspora
• Jewish Intellectual Freedom and the Weight of Conformism
• Fascination with Suffering or the Challenge of Life: a Critical Choice

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