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From Rebel to Rabbi: Reclaiming Jesus and the Making of Modern Jewish Culture

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Overview


“From Rebel to Rabbi is a comprehensive exploration of the figure of Christ in Yiddish and Hebrew literature and in modern Jewish art. Matthew Hoffman explores the intriguing and highly controversial ways in which Jewish culture was able to address the ideological fault lines of modernity through considerations of Jesus, the Jew. In representing Jesus to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences, writers and artists often sought to subvert dominant (Christian) European culture while also placing Jews in the very center of that culture.”  —Anita Norich, University of Michigan
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Hoffman's detailed and meticulous research ranges over Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian literature, as well as modernist painting, and he effectively uses the insights of contemporary critical theory as he develops his analysis. By including these works, he goes beyond many of his predecessors in chronicling the modern Jewish engagement with Jesus."—David Fox Samuel, CCAR Journal

"The history of the relationship between modern Judaism and the figure of Jesus—especially the Passion and the Crucifixion—is long and complex. Professor Matthew Hoffman's treatise provides a fascinating examination of the topic, and a detailed exploration of its development in early 20th-century Russian literature and art."—Association of Jewish Libraries

"From Rebel to Rabbi is a comprehensive exploration of the figure of Christ in Yiddish and Hebrew literature and in modern Jewish art. Matthew Hoffman explores the intriguing and highly controversial ways in which Jewish culture was able to address the ideological fault lines of modernity through considerations of Jesus, the Jew. In representing Jesus to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences, writers and artists often sought to subvert dominant (Christian) European culture while also placing Jews in the very center of that culture."—Anita Norich, University of Michigan

"In his intelligent and well-written monograph, Matthew Hoffman is the first scholar to juxtapose the treatment of Jesus by maskilim, Yiddish writers, and Jewish visual artists His book offers a penetrating analysis of a controversial and still relevant phenomenon. It is a crucial new contribution to the study of modern Jewish history, Yiddish literature, and Jewish-Christian relations."—American Historical Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author


Matthew Hoffman is Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies and History at Franklin & Marshall College.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction: Jesus and the Jewish Question     1
The Quest for the Jewish Jesus     13
The Crucifix Question     61
Yiddish Modernism and the Landscape of the Cross     117
The Passion of Jewish History     170
The Artist Crucified     206
Epilogue: The Jesus Question Revisited     252
Notes     257
Index     285
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