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Responsive Thinking: Cultural Studies And Jewish Historiography

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses major characteristics of modern Jewish historiography that have become crucial for most of the scholarly approaches laid out during the last two hundred years. One of the central arguments is that, after the cultural turn, still almost unrecognized within Jewish studies, all the attempts to discover new methods of writing Jewish history necessarily have to face the dominant heritage of one fundamental historical concept, namely national history. This concept clearly continues to define our perception of Jewish history even today, the reason being that its structures and bonds remain unrecognized, forcing us over and over again into similar ways of thinking, thereby considerably narrowing the possibility of developing fundamental new approaches. The chapter outlines only general characteristics, while other interesting side-glances have to be omitted for the sake of focusing on the crucial paradigms and their dynamics.

Keywords: Jewish historiography; Jewish History; Jewish studies; National History



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