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From Dialektik to Comparative Literature:

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Chapter Summary

The work of Moritz Steinschneider has often been characterized as eminently factual and objective. Steinschneider's commitment to bibliographical study, with its strict methodology of inventory, direct examination and description, combined with his passionate rejection of theological prejudice, contributed to the widespread reputation of objectivity that was established immediately upon the master's death. Steinschneider being neither an overt nor a covert theoretician, this shift was as implicit as it was intricate. In most early dialectical argumentations, Jewish Orientalism remained a vague generic category that was not, or at best summarily, defined. For building a valid dialectical argumentation, Steinschneider first of all had to formulate his thesis, the basic point of departure whence his exposé would unfold. According to the premises of German Idealism that Steinschneider summarized there, only the original work could be considered part of a nation's cultural history.

Keywords:German idealism; Jewish orientalism; Moritz Steinschneider



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