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For many German intellectuals concerned with imagining a new political order in the era of the French Revolution, Judaism was often perceived as the symbolic antithesis of secular modernity, the book shows. The response of leading Jewish thinkers was to offer their own reflections on modernity and universalism, grounded in Judaism's normative tradition. Hess considers the work of major figures of the period, such as Moses Mendelssohn, Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, and Friedrich Schleiermacher, as well as lesser-known writers, whose debates about the shape of the modern world provide us with fresh insights into Jewish emancipation, German colonial discourse, and the intersections between religious and political reform.
Author Biography: Jonathan M. Hess is associate professor of German and adjunct associate professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
|Introduction: Modernity and the Legacy of Enlightenment||1|
|1||Rome, Jerusalem and the Triumph of Modernity: Christian Wilhelm Dohm and the Regeneration of the Jews||25|
|2||Orientalism and the Colonial Imaginary: Johann David Michaelis and the Specter of Racial Antisemitism||51|
|3||Mendelssohn's Jesus: The Frustrations of Jewish Resistance||91|
|4||Philosophy, Antisemitism and the Politics of Religious Reform: Saul Ascher's Challenge to Kant and Fichte||137|
|5||Jewish Baptism and the Quest for World Rule: Perceptions of Jewish Power around 1800||169|