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"Jewish Literature" And "World Literature": Wissenschaft Des Judentums And Its Concept Of Literature

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Chapter Summary

In the course of the nineteenth century, German Jewry developed a specific modern form of relationship to the past that can perhaps best be described as “historical culture” (Geschichtskultur). Jewish historical culture offered a communicative space that allowed for controversy, negotiation, and competition and thus for a plurality of Jewish identities based on history. This chapter deals with the relationship between Jewish historical culture (Geschichtskultur) and Jewish historical scholarship during the (extended) Weimar period (from the centenary of the Prussian emancipation edict in 1912 to the early Nazi years). Concentrating on the question of how the emancipation period was presented and interpreted in popular and academic concepts of history, it tries to draw some conclusions for the overall topic of this book: the role and significance of Jewish Wissenschaft within a pluralistic and segmented historical culture that was characterized by ideological conflict and the dogmas of a controversial debate.

Keywords: German Jewry; Geschichtskultur; Jewish historical culture; Jewish historical scholarship; Jewish Wissenschaft; nineteenth century; Weimar period



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