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Postzionism And Postmodern Theory: The Challenge To Jewish Studies

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Chapter Summary

This chapter articulates some relations between the emerging field of Jewish cultural studies and the richly established discipline of Jewish historiography. That more ambitious project would be both feasible and worthwhile. The chapter attempts to bridge the disciplinary distinctions among history, the social-scientific analysis of ritual, theology, and literature, themselves patently products of Western power/knowledge formations, and the particular ways they have configured the relation between authority and identity. It points to the facility cultural studies has for seeing textuality as part of life, rather than merely the medium of a second-order representation of life. Cultural studies, among other things, is about the idea that just as text is never a second, more ideal order of reality, so too we are never “above” what we’re studying, teaching, discussing, writing.

Keywords: Jewish cultural studies; Jewish historiography; social-scientific analysis; theology



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