Moses Hess and Modern Jewish Identity

Moses Hess and Modern Jewish Identity

by Ken Koltun-Fromm
     
 

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"Koltun-Fromm's reading of Hess is of crucial import for those who study
the construction of self in the modern world as well as for those who are concerned
with Hess and his contributions to modern thought.... a reading of Hess that is
subtle, judicious, insightful, and well supported." -- David
Ellenson

Moses Hess, a fascinating 19th-century

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Overview

"Koltun-Fromm's reading of Hess is of crucial import for those who study
the construction of self in the modern world as well as for those who are concerned
with Hess and his contributions to modern thought.... a reading of Hess that is
subtle, judicious, insightful, and well supported." -- David
Ellenson

Moses Hess, a fascinating 19th-century German Jewish
intellectual figure, was at times religious and secular, traditional and modern,
practical and theoretical, socialist and nationalist. Ken Koltun-Fromm's radical
reinterpretation of his writings shows Hess as a Jew struggling with the meaning of
conflicting commitments and impulses. Modern readers will realize that in Hess's
life, as in their own, these commitments remain fragmented and torn. As contemporary
Jews negotiate multiple, often contradictory allegiances in the modern world,
Koltun-Fromm argues that Hess's struggle to unite conflicting traditions and
frameworks of meaning offers intellectual and practical resources to re-examine the
dilemmas of modern Jewish identity. Adopting Charles Taylor's philosophical theory
of the self to uncover Hess's various commitments, Koltun-Fromm demonstrates that
Hess offers a rich, textured, though deeply conflicted and torn account of the
modern Jew. This groundbreaking study in conceptions of identity in modern Jewish
texts is a vital contribution to the diverse fields of Jewish intellectual history,
philosophy, Zionism, and religious studies.

Jewish Literature and
Culture -- Alvin H. Rosenfeld, editor
Published with the generous support
of the Koret Foundation

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253108562
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
07/31/2001
Series:
Jewish Literature and Culture
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
File size:
380 KB

Meet the Author

Ken Koltun-Fromm is Assistant Professor of Religion at Haverford College.
He publishes in the field of modern Jewish thought and German studies.

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