JWST 2156

JWST 2156

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2018-2019.

Does hatred have a history? Historians insist that Europe invented a tradition of hating Jews and Judaism; some go so far as to argue that the destruction of European Jewry during the Holocaust was the culmination of a thousand-year-old prejudice against Jewish difference, cultivated not only by cranks and lunatics at the margins of European discourse, but by great luminaries with a reputation for progressive, even radical, opinions. In fact, the cultural problem of Jewish difference was implicated in both the destruction and the creation of European Jewry. In this seminar, we will examine exemplary works of Europe's famous anti-Jewish canon — such as Paul's letter to the Romans, Luther's "On the Jews and their Lies," and Marx's "On the Jewish Question" — in order to contextualize a mythology of Jewish "otherness" that enflamed the anti-Jewish imagination even when there were few Jewish "others" around to hate. We will also look at critical moments in Jewish history marked by the appropriation of anti-Jewish arguments in the name of Jewish social discipline and moral authority. Through the prism of provocative Jewish texts such as the Crusade chronicles, Mendelssohn's Jerusalem and Pinsker's "Auto-emancipation" we will explore some of the ways in which the "enabling violation" of anti-semitism both constrained Jewish existence and liberated Jewish self-consciousness, turning Europe into a home for Judaism as well as a Jewish "hell on earth."

When Offered Spring.

Distribution Category (HA-AS)

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Enrollment Information
Syllabi: 1 available
  •   Regular Academic Session.  Combined with: HIST 2156RELST 2156

  • 4 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • 16429JWST 2156  SEM 101