An Open Question Re: Eastern Europe and Contemporary Jewish Thought and Philosophy (Ashkenaz)


Looking for help from modern Jewish Studies and Jewish philosophy and thought people: I’m trying to think thru challenges posted by Eliyahu Stern and Shaul Magid that we need to take into account the thought-worlds of East European Jews into our theoretical frames and thinking. That’s well and good as intellectual history. But in terms of religion, what are we supposed to find there that [1] is not politically repulsive, [2] makes constructive philosophical sense for Jews who live outside the narrow social frame of haredi communities, [3] doesn’t fill one with sadness, even despair? German Jewish philosophy was able work in and out of the Sephardic tradition. What about Ashkenaz? So far I have imagination and picture-thinking, but that won’t be much of surprise for people who know me or the blog. This blogpost on Luzzato and “anthroposophy” was something by way of a first stab.

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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