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Does European Jewry Need A New Ethnic Spiritual Umbrella? Reflections

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes the traditionally close connection of French Jews with the Republic and the State, and the skepticism that most of them feel towards an abstract European constitutional patriotism. Jürgen Habermas' conception of the European public sphere, which presupposes the decline of the nation-state and the transfer of loyalty to European institutions capable of transformation into a federal state poses formidable problems for Jews, particularly those like the French Jews who are deeply attached to the logic of the nation-state. His thought reflects the link between the European public sphere and Jewish destiny: to avoid a repetition of the Holocaust he invented negative nationalism, the postnational constellation whose creation after the state gives rise to a cosmopolitan citizenship implying the end of the nation-state.

Keywords:constitutional patriotism; Europe; France; Jews; Jürgen Habermas; universalism



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