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Jewish Thought, Philosophy, And The Holocaust

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Chapter Summary

The Wissenschaft des Judentums, a discipline that emerged parallel to Goethe’s concept of a world literature, and, more precisely, the establishment of Jewish literary studies by Leopold Zunz and Moritz Steinschneider as well as the creation of a Jewish literary history it inspired, demonstrate that the concept of a specifically Jewish literature was forged, above all things, against the background of the model of world literature. It is important to analyze the three patterns of argumentation occurring in the establishment of secular Jewish literary studies by the Wissenschaft des Judentums as expressed in programmatic texts. This chapter focuses on the German-Jewish philology of Wissenschaft des Judentums, i.e., mainly on Leopold Zunz, Moritz Steinschneider, David Cassel, and Gustav Karpeles, because these scholars first interpreted the older—theological and halakhic—paradigm of Jewish literature from a modern scientific perspective and radically extended it in terms of cultural politics.

Keywords: cultural politics.; German-Jewish philology; Jewish Literature; Wissenschaft des Judentums; world literature



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