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Outside And Inside The Nations: Changing Borders In The Study Of The Jewish Past During The Nineteenth Century

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Chapter Summary

Were there no Jewish critics of historicism who recoiled at the application of historical methods to classical Jewish sources and who lamented the clinical dissection of the once-inspired Jewish past? The full answer is multifaceted, and requires that we follow different and often meandering currents of thought into German, French, and Eastern European Jewish intellectual discourse, exploring thinkers ranging from Henri Bergson to Micha Yosef Berdyczewski. It is clear as day that there was a problem, if not an outright crisis, of Jewish historicism from the mid-nineteenthcentury, and that the tension between Glaube und Geschichte, contra Baron, has agitated Jewish thinkers from that time up to the present. The chapter examines this phenomenon by tracing a number of the overlapping currents of dissent that emerged out of the new historicist orthodoxy.

Keywords: Glaube und Geschichte; Jewish critics; Jewish historicism; Jewish intellectual discourse; Jewish past; mid-nineteenthcentury



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