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Prophets of the Past:
Interpreters of Jewish History
Michael Brenner
Translated by Steven Rendall

Book Description | Reviews
Introduction [in PDF format]


Acknowledgments xi
Introduction: Viewpoints on Jewish History 1
Objectivity and Partiality 2
Remembering and Forgetting 4
Nation and Religion 6
Scholarship and Ideology 9
Heroes and Eras 12

Chapter 1: Jewish History as History of Religion
Wissenschaft des Judentums in the Service
of Reform and Emancipation 17
Christian Beginnings 18
Traditional Reverberations 21
In the Service of Religious Reform 24
In the Battle for Political Emancipation 27
Jewish Religious History as Counterhistory 36
One Religion among Numerous Nations 42

Chapter 2: Between Religion and Nation
Graetz and His Construction of Jewish History 53
The Battle against Reform and Assimilation 57
Only a History of Suffering and Learning? 60
The Debate with Christianity and Germanness 64
Rationalism and Mysticism 68
Translations and New Interpretations 73
External Opinions on Jewish History 82

Chapter 3: The Nationalization of Jewish History The View from the East 93
Dubnow: Diaspora Nationalism as a Historical Concept 93
Polish Jewish Historiography between the Wars 106
Under the Soviet Star: Jewish History as Class History 114

Chapter 4: Jewish History without Tears?
New Perspectives in the West 121
Baron in New York: Against the Lachrymose Version of Jewish History 123
Roth in Oxford: More Than a History of Victims 131
From the Salon to the Academy: The Beginnings of Jewish Women's History 136
The Return of Tears: Jewish History versus the History of the "Jewish Question" 144
A Signal in Dark Times: The "Jewish Contribution" to Civilization 151

Chapter 5: The Return of the Nation to Its Land Zionist Narrative Perspectives 157
The Revolt against the Father: The Break with Wissenschaft des Judentums 158
Patricide: Scholem's Metaphorics of Death 163
New Fathers: The "Jerusalem School" under Baer and Dinur 171
New Sons: Haim Hillel Ben-Sasson, Shmuel Ettinger, and Jacob Katz 183
The Revolt of the Grandchildren: The New Historians 192

Chapter 6: Postmodern Influences A New Subjectivity 197
From One Jewish Community to Many Jewish Cultures 204
Epilogue 217
Notes 221
References 265
Index 297

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File created: 4/21/2017

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