New York Jewish Philosophy Place (After Europe)

A too quick coffee with a friend and then a walk in the neighborhood. I realize how much my world in Jewish philosophy is framed and determined by a sixteen block radius between Central, Morningside, and Riverside Parks and how much my work in Jewish philosophy determines the way I look at this little world.

Re: the place couplets mentioned in my previous post, it occurs to me now how horizontally and vertically, the small place is tucked into a larger space: text-image, Israel-Middle East, U.S.-World, [God]-Makom. And how the large space gets tucked into the small place.

In my own conception of a Jewish philosophy place, it strikes me how little Europe has to do with any of it. A little closer, to be sure, but it feels to me like it belongs to the past, like medieval Sepharad. What would Jewish philosophy look like without a single European, or at least a single German?

I wonder what Jewish philosophy would look like if even a little background attention went to the kind of places that actually frame the work of my colleagues and friends –California, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, and Toronto, small towns in Texas and the boonies of Indiana, Tallahassee, and Bethlehem, PA.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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3 Responses to New York Jewish Philosophy Place (After Europe)

  1. nitzan says:

    The Boonies and the Bethlehemians were missing their non-European ZJBs last night. To the point, it’s a fascinating question but I’m not sure that the assemblage is enough to cut out of its de-re-territorialized (minor as they may be) premises.

    • zjb says:

      thanks, Nitzan: no doubt these kind of dynamics will involve a lot of conceptual circling back and forth. for my part, i’ll be happy to see the Germans relegated to the deep code (and to intellectual history) (along with the ancients and medievals) and removed from the visible interface (i.e. the names and concepts and citations that appear on the page). the proof will be in the assemblage of the pudding!

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