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Forward"[This book] offers a bracing insight into the current, vibrant state of American Jewish studies." —Josh Lambert, Forward, 7/16/10
— Josh Lambert
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How Jews think about and work with objects is the subject of this fascinating study of the interplay between material culture and Jewish thought. Ken Koltun-Fromm draws from philosophy, cultural studies, literature, psychology, film, and photography to portray the vibrancy and richness of Jewish practice in America. His analyses of Mordecai Kaplan's obsession with journal writing, Joseph Soloveitchik's urban religion, Abraham Joshua Heschel's fascination with objects in The Sabbath, and material identity in the works of Anzia Yezierska, Cynthia Ozick, Bernard Malamud, and Philip Roth, as well as Jewish images on the covers of Lilith magazine and in the Jazz Singer films, offer a groundbreaking approach to an understanding of modern Jewish thought and its relation to American culture.
— Josh Lambert
Introduction: Material Culture and Jewish Identity in America
1. The Material Self: Mordecai Kaplan and the Art of Writing
2. The Material Past: Edward Bernays, Joshua Liebman, and Erich Fromm
3. Material Place: Joseph Soloveitchik and the Urban Holy
4. Material Presence: Abraham Joshua Heschel and The Sabbath
5. The Material Narrative: Yezierska, Roth, Ozick, Malamud
6. The Material Gaze: American Jewish Identity and Heritage Production
Conclusion: American or Jewish Material Identity?
Indiana University Press