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Judaism and Enlightenment By Adam Sutcliffe (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

Judaism and Enlightenment by Adam Sutcliffe (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

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Summary

This major contribution to the history of European ideas investigates the philosophical and political significance of Judaism in the intellectual life of seventeenth and eighteenth century Europe. Judaism and Enlightenment will interest scholars both of Jewish history and of toleration, enlightenment, and the emergence of modernity.

Judaism and Enlightenment Summary

Judaism and Enlightenment by Adam Sutcliffe (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

This study investigates the philosophical and political significance of Judaism in the intellectual life of seventeenth and eighteenth century Europe. Adam Sutcliffe shows how the widespread and enthusiastic fascination with Judaism prevalent around 1650 was largely eclipsed a century later by attitudes of dismissal and disdain. He argues that Judaism was uniquely difficult for Enlightenment thinkers to account for, and that their intense responses, both negative and positive, to Jewish topics are central to an understanding of the underlying ambiguities of the Enlightenment itself. Judaism and the Jews were a limit case, a destabilising challenge, and a constant test for Enlightenment rationalism. Erudite and highly broad-ranging in its sources, and yet extremely accessible in its argument, Judaism and Enlightenment is a major contribution to the history of European ideas, of interest to scholars of Jewish history and to those working on the Enlightenment, toleration and the emergence of modernity itself.

Judaism and Enlightenment Reviews

'... passionate, well informed and eloquent ...' Anthony Grafton, The New York Review of Books
'Adam Sutcliffe's book...shows immense learning, elegant prose, and a nuanced and sophisticated understanding of the Enlightenment project as well as the place of Judaism in the consciousness of its primary and less primary exponents.' David Ruderman in the Jewish Quarterly Review
'Not only new but startling.' Sander Gilman in The Chronicle of Higher Education
'In keeping with the best tradition of the history of ideas, Sutcliffe's impressive, comprehensive study methodically presents many texts, scholars and thinkers ... Sutcliffe's book is an important work for students of the Enlightenment, and one that makes a significant contribution to the intellectual history of Europe in the early modern era. A scholarly, profound and thought-provoking book, it is the best treatment until now of the varied issues by the subject of Judaism and the Enlightenment.' European History Quarterly
"Adam Sutcliffe's book represents an important new synthesis, offering novel and insightful readings of both familiar and less-known thinkers. Since no one before him has attempted to examine so broadly European intellectual life in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries from the perspective of attitudes toward Jews and Judaism, Sutcliffe's monograph represents a major contribution to Jewish and Enlightenment studies alike." The Jewish Quarterly Review
"It is rare that a scholarly historical work such as Sutcliffe's can be so useful for the understanding of some of the most vexing contemporary problems - in this case, the surprising resurgence of postmodern antisemitism." The Forward
"...passionate, well informed, and eloquent..." The New York Review of Books
"[I]n his highly anticipated first book, Adam Sutcliffe... makes the bold claim that what has for centuries been referred to as "the Jewish question," rather than being merely a less-than-admirable aspect of Enlightenment thought, was actually of central importance in shaping it... scholars are calling Mr. Sutcliffe's work groundbreaking." The Chronicle of Higher Education
"An excellent and stimulating analysis of the Enlightenment and its relationship to Jews and Judaism." H-GERMAN
"fascinating book" - Michael Mack, University of Sydney

About Adam Sutcliffe (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

Adam Sutcliffe is Chaim Lopata Assistant Professor of European Jewish History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Table of Contents

Introduction: disentangling Judaism and Enlightenment; Part I. The Crumbling of Old Certainties: Judaism, the Bible and the Meaning of History: 1. The crisis and decline of Christian Hebraism; 2. Hebraic politics: Respublica Mosaiaca; 3. Meaning and method: Jewish history, world history; 4. The limits of erudition: Jacques Basnage and Pierre Bayle; Part II. Judaism and the Formation of Enlightenment Radicalism: 5. Religious dissent and debate in Sephardi Amsterdam; 6. Judaism in Spinoza and his circle; 7. Spinoza: Messiah of the Enlightenment?; 8. Enlightenment and Kabbalah; 9. Judaism, reason and the critique of religion; Part III. Judaism, Nationhood and the Politics of Enlightenment: 10. Utopianism, Republicanism, Cosmopolitanism; 11. Judaism and the invention of toleration; 12. The ambiguities of Enlightenment: Voltaire and the Jews; Conclusion: reason versus myth?

Additional information

GOR010684919
9780521820158
0521820154
Judaism and Enlightenment by Adam Sutcliffe (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
Used - Very Good
Hardback
Cambridge University Press
2003-01-09
340
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

Customer Reviews - Judaism and Enlightenment