New Perspectives on the Haskalah

Overview

This volume, written by a range of scholars in history and literature, offers a new understanding of one of the central cultural and ideological movements among Jews in modern times. Disengaging the Haskalah from the questions of modernization or emancipation that have hitherto dominated the scholarship, the contributors put the Haskalah under a microscope in order to restore detail and texture to the individuals, ideas, and activities that were its makers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In ...
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Overview

This volume, written by a range of scholars in history and literature, offers a new understanding of one of the central cultural and ideological movements among Jews in modern times. Disengaging the Haskalah from the questions of modernization or emancipation that have hitherto dominated the scholarship, the contributors put the Haskalah under a microscope in order to restore detail and texture to the individuals, ideas, and activities that were its makers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In particular, they replace simple dichotomies with nuanced distinctions, presenting the relationship between 'tradition' and Haskalah as a spectrum of closely linked cultural options rather than a fateful choice between old and new or good and evil. The essays address major and minor figures; ask whether there was such an entity as an 'early Haskalah', or a Haskalah movement in England, look at key issues such as the relationship of the Haskalah to Orthodoxy and hasidism, and also treat such neglected subjects as the position of women. New Perspectives on the Haskalah will interest all students of modern Jewish history, literature, and culture. (PRINT ON DEMAND)
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Contributors attempt to separate the Haskalah from questions of modernization and emancipation in this examination of one of the central cultural and ideological movements among Jews in modern times. They look at individuals, ideas, and activities of the Haskalah during the 18th and 19th centuries. Topics include the Haskalah in England, the Haskalah's transformation of the traditional genre, and descriptions of women in Haskalah fiction. Contributors are academics in Jewish history, theology, Hebrew literature, and Jewish studies. Feiner teaches modern Jewish history at Bar Ilan University. Sorkin is professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Distributed by ISBS. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781904113263
  • Publisher: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Table of Contents

Note on Transliteration
Introduction 1
1 The Early Haskalah 9
2 Naphtali Herz Wessely and the Cultural Dislocations of an Eighteenth-Century Maskil 27
3 Enlightenment Values, Jewish Ethics: The Haskalah's Transformation of the Traditional Musar Genre 48
4 Was there a 'Haskalah' in England? Reconsidering an Old Question 64
5 Strategy and Ruse in the Haskalah of Mendel Lefin of Satanow 86
6 The Struggle of the Mitnagedim and Maskilim against Hasidism: Rabbi Jacob Emden and Judah Leib Mieses 103
7 Magic and Miracle-Workers in the Literature of the Haskalah 113
8 Portrait of the Maskil as a Young Man 128
9 Reality and its Refraction in Descriptions of Women in Haskalah Fiction 144
10 Enlightened Rabbis as Reformers in Russian Jewish Society 166
11 Towards a Historical Definition of the Haskalah 184
Glossary 221
Notes on Contributors 224
Bibliography 225
Index 251
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