Journals Higher Education

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320 Pages

ISBN: 9781874774617


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New Perspectives on the Haskalah

edited by Shmuel Feiner, David Sorkin, and Shmuel Feiner

The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization in association with Liverpool University Press

This volume, written by a range of scholars in history and literature, offers a new understanding of one of the central cultural and ideological movements among Jews in modern times. Disengaging the Haskalah from the questions of modernization or emancipation that have hitherto dominated the scholarship, the contributors have put the Haskalah under a microscope in order to restore detail and texture to the individuals, ideas, and activities that were its makers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In particular, they replace simple dichotomies with nuanced distinctions, presenting the relationship between 'tradition' and Haskalah as a spectrum of closely linked cultural options rather than a fateful choice between old and new or good and evil. The essays address major and minor figures. They ask whether there was such an entity as an 'early Haskalah', or a Haskalah movement in England; look at key issues such as the relationship of the Haskalah to Orthodoxy and Hasidism; and also treat such neglected subjects as the position of women. New Perspectives on the Haskalah will interest all students of modern Jewish history, literature, and culture. Contributors Harris Bor, Edward Breuer (Loyola University, Chicago), Tova Cohen (Bar-Ilan University), Immanuel Etkes (Hebrew University, Jerusalem), Shmuel Feiner (Bar-Ilan University), Yehuda Friedlander (Bar-Ilan University), David B. Ruderman (University of Pennsylvania), Joseph Salmon (Ben-Gurion University), Nancy Sinkoff (Rutgers University), David Sorkin (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Shmuel Werses (Hebrew University, Jerusalem) Shmuel Feiner is Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History at Bar Ilan University, and responsible for the Samuel Braun Chair for the History of the Jews in Prussia. He is the author of Haskalah and History: The Emergence of a Modern Jewish Consciousness, published in Hebrew in 1995 and in translation by the Littman Library (forthcoming), and of I. E. Kovner, Sefer Hamatsref: An Unknown Maskilic Critic of Jewish Society in Russia in the Nineteenth Century (1998).

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