Athens in Jerusalem: Classical Antiquity and Hellenism in the Making of the Modern Secular Jew

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From the 18th Century on, Jews seeking to aquire a modern identify began to take a new interest in classical antiquity and Hellenistic civilization as a key tot he secular Jewish culture they sought to develop. It was of course not the real classical Greece to which they aspired but rather its idealized image as perceived through contemporary eyes, but this image became an important element in the search for a new Jewish self-awareness. For the modernizing Jew, Greek became a metaphor for the secular culture of ...
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Overview

From the 18th Century on, Jews seeking to aquire a modern identify began to take a new interest in classical antiquity and Hellenistic civilization as a key tot he secular Jewish culture they sought to develop. It was of course not the real classical Greece to which they aspired but rather its idealized image as perceived through contemporary eyes, but this image became an important element in the search for a new Jewish self-awareness. For the modernizing Jew, Greek became a metaphor for the secular culture of modern Europe in its various forms.
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Editorial Reviews

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Shavit (history of the Jewish people, Tel Aviv U.) describes how Jewish intellectuals of the 18th century began finding in classical Greek culture elements they though Jewish culture lacked and would have to embrace in order to become part of the modern world. He explains that by asserting that Judaism had been open to Hellenistic influences since the time of the Second Table, they legitimized their own efforts to secularize Jewish identity and culture. First published as "Yahadut bi-re'i ha- Yavanut ve-hofa'at ha-Yehudi ha-Helenisti ha-moderni" by Am Oved Published, Tel Aviv, in 1992. Distributed by ISBS. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781874774259
  • Publisher: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, The
  • Publication date: 9/25/1997
  • Pages: 576

Table of Contents

Translators' Note
Introduction 1
1 Waking the Dead - Greece as an Ideal and an Exemplar 21
2 Hellenism and Hebraism: The Two Poles of the World 40
3 Israel and Greece: Reviving a Legendary Past 58
4 'Greek Wisdom' as Secular Knowledge and Science 79
5 Japheth in the Tents of Shem: The Reception of the Classical Heritage in Modern Hebrew Culture 119
6 The Moral Dimension: Commonality and Particularity 155
7 Worlds without Compromise: Reconstructing the Disparities 188
8 Have Jews Imagination? Jews and the Creative Arts 220
9 The Nature of the Hellenistic Mirror 281
10 Judaism and Hellenism in Palestine and Alexandria: Two Models of a National and Cultural Encounter 306
11 Homeric Books and Hellenistic Culture in the World of the Sages 337
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