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To Flee or Not to Flee: Is That the Question?

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image of International Journal of Public Theology

This article examines the two deadly attacks in Paris on 7 and 9 January 2015 from an angle of interest in which they impinge upon Jews as Jews. Specifically, it homes in on a question that was triggered by the attacks: Is it time for the Jews of Europe to depart en masse? The facts alone cannot explain why the Paris attacks triggered this question. There is, in the first place, a larger empirical context. More fundamentally, there is a powerful narrative context that places the present and the future by reference to the Nazi Holocaust and ultimately the biblical story of the exodus. This stock narrative not only gives rise to the wrong question—to flee or not to flee—but makes it impossible to engage in ‘thinking in the world’: the kind of thinking that generates the right questions regarding the Jewish future.

Affiliations: 1: University of Oxford


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