Cultural Disjunctions

Mendes-Flohr Paul
"Contemporary Jews variously configure their identity, which is no longer necessarily defined by an observance of the Torah and God's commandments. Indeed, the Jews of modernity are no longer exclusively Jewish. They are affiliated with many communities-vocational, professional, political, and cultural-whose interests may not coincide with that of the community of their birth and inherited culture. In Cultural Disjunctions, Paul Mendes-Flohr explores the possibility of a spiritually and intellectually engaged cosmopolitan Jewish identity for our time. To ground this project, he draws on the sociology of knowledge and cultural hermeneutics to reflect on the need to participate in the life of a community so that it enables multiple relations beyond its borders and allows one to balance a commitment to the local and a genuine obligation to the universal. Over the course of six provocative chapters, Mendes-Flohr lays out what this delicate balance can look like for contemporary Jews, both in the Diaspora and in Israel. Mendes-Flohr takes us through the ghettos of twentieth-century Europe, the differences between the personal libraries of traditional and secular Jews, and the role of cultural memory. Ultimately, the author calls for Jews to remain discontent with themselves (as a check on hubris), but also discontent with the social and political order, and to fight for its betterment"--
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The identity of contemporary Jews is multifaceted, no longer necessarily defined by an observance of the Torah and God's commandments. Indeed, the Jews of modernity are no longer exclusively Jewish. They are affiliated with a host of complementary and sometimes clashing communities--vocational, professional, political, and cultural--whose interests may not coincide with that of the community of their birth and inherited culture. In Cultural Disjunctions, Paul Mendes-Flohr explores the possibility of a spiritually and intellectually engaged cosmopolitan Jewish identity for our time. Reflecting on the need to participate in the spiritual life of Judaism so that it enables multiple relations beyond its borders and allows one to balance Jewish commitment with a genuine obligation to the universal, Mendes-Flohr lays out what this delicate balance can look like for contemporary Jews, both in Israel and in diasporic communities worldwide. Cultural Disjunctions walks us through the labyrinth of twentieth-century Jewish cultural identities and commitments. Ultimately, Mendes-Flohr calls for Jews to remain "discontent," not just with themselves but also and especially with the reigning social and political order, and to fight for its betterment.
More Information
Publisher University of Chicago Press
ISBN-10 022678486X
ISBN-13 9780226784861
GTIN-13 9780226784861
GTIN-14 09780226784861
Subtitle Post-Traditional Jewish Identities
Author Mendes-Flohr Paul
Edition 1
Language Code eng
Page Count 144
Publication Date Jul 19, 2021
Dimension 5.5 in 8.5 in 0 in