HIST 2910 Jewish Modernity

March 22, 2021

HIST 2910 Jewish Modernity (also JWST 2920, NES 2620) (HA-AS) (CU-ITL) (HEU)   

Monday and Wednesday: 2:45-4:00

Professor Olga Litvak

In the past two centuries, Jewish men and women have adapted remarkably well to the modern condition, embracing the opportunities associated with higher education, city life, industrial capitalism and democratic politics.  Jewish artists, writers, scientists and philosophers can be found on every list of luminaries associated with the modern age; it is enough to mention Marx, Freud and Einstein to conjure up the celebrated image of Jewish participation in the modern project.  No less remarkable than these names is the resurgence of Jewish tradition, despite the inroads of secularization and the dissolution of communal self-government. This course explores the tensions implicit in the Jewish experience of modernity, marked by intense longing for personal and collective emancipation from religious obligation and social discipline, on the one hand, and by a powerful countervailing impulse to strengthen ethnic loyalties, to invigorate Jewish practice and to keep Jewish values intact. Drawing on various forms of Jewish expression, from the eighteenth century to the twentieth, we will address the contradictions implicit in the strange hybrid of “Jewish modernity.”

Israeli money