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“Jerusalem Rebuilt”: The Temple In The Fin-De-Siècle Zionist Imagination

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Chapter Summary

As Zionism emerged as the dominant expression of Jewish nationalism at the turn of the twentieth century, the Temple of Jerusalem became a powerful symbol in the movement's developing aesthetic. This ancient structure, the repository of the hope and expectations of Diaspora Jewry since the Exile, emerged in the hands of Zionist cultural figures adorned in a fascinating new framework. While still viewed as the ancestral heart of the Jewish people, the Temple in the imagination of fin-de-siècle Zionist artists, intellectuals and writers developed into a symbol of the dynamism of Jewish national renewal. After the success of the Zionist movement, the creation of the State of Israel and the completion of Theodor Herzl's national canonization, the novel Altneuland remained a mere curiosity.

Keywords: Altneuland; fin-de-siècle; Jerusalem; Theodor Herzl; Zionist imagination



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