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‘Judenthum’, ‘Griechenthum’ And ‘Christenthum’ As Parameters In Early Nineteenth-Century Jewish Political Thinking

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the seminal exposé 'Über den Begriff einer Wissenschaft des Judentums', written in the early 1820s by Friedrich Hegel's Berlin disciple Immanuel Wolf. Written partly as a vindication of the new intellectual endeavour, partly as its first comprehensive research agenda, Wolf 's manifesto exploited the historical dynamic between Judenthum, Griechenthum and Christenthum in order to address the major dilemmas of his generation. Another text was written some two decades later by Leopold Zunz. Zunz had started publishing on 'jüdische Philologie und Literatur' as early as 1818, when 'philology' and 'literature' had still been novelties on the Jewish scholarly stage. As the chapter shows, Zunz's evaluation of Jewish-gentile interaction throughout the ages, too, was dictated to a large extent by the demands (and, by 1845, the disappointments) posed by his own environment.

Keywords: Christenthum; Griechenthum ; Immanuel Wolf; Jewish political thinking; Judenthum; Leopold Zunz



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