The Democratic Ideal and the Shoah: The Unthought in Political Modernity

The Democratic Ideal and the Shoah: The Unthought in Political Modernity

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State University of New York Press

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The Democratic Ideal and the Shoah: The Unthought in Political Modernity

Is the Shoah a unique event or just one of the many genocides that have occurred (and continue to occur) in modern history? In The Democratic Ideal and the Shoah, Shmuel Trigano begins with the hypothesis that the Shoah must be understood in both universal and singular terms: insofar as it addresses the meaning and value of modernity, it is solely because the singular experience of the Jews is at its center. Drawing on history, political philosophy, hermeneutics, and psychoanalysis, Trigano argues that the attitude of democracy towards the Jews is key to understanding the very nature of democracy and the democratic ideal, and he postulates that the anti-Semitism that has haunted modern times is the same spectre that has haunted democracy throughout history in the form of nationalism, totalitarianism, and now multiculturalism. Can democratic theory rid itself of the dilemma between universality and particularity, between collectivity and individuality? This is the ultimate question addressed by this book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781438426297
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 05/07/2009
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Jewish Thought Series
Pages: 337
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction A Reversal in Perspective

Part 1 The Jew-of-the-Citizen

1. Naked Singularity in the Shoah

2. The Unthinkable Singularity

3. The All-Too-Thinkable Shoah

4. The Unthought Singularity

5. The “Universal” Narrative of Singularity

6. Democracy’s Jewish Question: Sartre and Arendt

Part 2 The Man-of-the-Citizen

7. The Enigma of the Democratic Man

8. The “Crime of Being Born”: The Obscenity of the Native Condition of Men

9. The Hidden Religion of Modernity

10. The Memory Controversy as a Decoy

Part 3 The Jew-of-the-Man: The Singular and the DemocraticUniversal

11. The Enigma of Jewish Singularity

12. The Enigma of the “People”

13. Toward a New Age in Democracy?


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