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Rosenzweig's Bible: Reinventing Scripture for Jewish Modernity (Paperback)
  • Rosenzweig's Bible: Reinventing Scripture for Jewish Modernity (Paperback)

Rosenzweig's Bible: Reinventing Scripture for Jewish Modernity (Paperback)

Paperback 222 Pages / Published: 19/12/2013
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Rosenzweig's Bible examines the high stakes, both theological and political, of Franz Rosenzweig's attempt to revivify the Hebrew Bible and use it as the basis for a Jewish textual identity. Mara Benjamin's innovative reading of The Star of Redemption places Rosenzweig's best-known work at the beginning of an intellectual trajectory that culminated in a monumental translation of the Bible, thus overturning fundamental assumptions that have long guided the appraisal of this titan of modern Jewish thought. She argues that Rosenzweig's response to modernity was paradoxical: he challenged his readers to encounter the biblical text as revelation, reinventing scripture - both the Bible itself and the very notion of a scriptural text - in order to invigorate Jewish intellectual and social life, but did so in a distinctly modern key, ultimately reinforcing the foundations of German-Jewish post-Enlightenment liberal thought. Rosenzweig's Bible illuminates the complex interactions that arise when modern readers engage the sacred texts of ancient religious traditions.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107663251
Number of pages: 222
Weight: 330 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm

'The standard reading of Franz Rosenzweig's life and thought is that the thought culminated with the publication of his magnum opus the Star of Redemption in 1921 and that his life as a Jewish educator in Frankfurt was a realization of the mandate of that great work. But this reading suggests that Rosenzweig's remaining thinking and writing are ancillary to the system of the Star. Benjamin's provocative proposal, which she develops with clarity and intelligence, is that the Star is not the end but rather the beginning of Rosenzweig's life-long project. His entire professional career can be viewed as an effort to read and understand the biblical text. Benjamin's readings of the Bible in the Star, in Rosenzweig's translations and commentary of the poems of Yehuda Halevi, and in the Biblical translation project with Martin Buber map three stages on a journey that lasted until his death in 1929. The book gives us a novel and fascinating picture of this important Weimar Jewish intellectual.' Michael Morgan, Indiana University
'In this nuanced and noteworthy book, Mara Benjamin shows how the great German-Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig struggled to define what the ancient Hebrew liturgy could mean to Jewish existence under the radically altered conditions of late modernity. Textually precise without ever losing sight of the broader context of Weimar-era theology, Rosenzweig's Bible makes a lasting and significant contribution to the current debate concerning Rosenzweig and the modernist reinvention of Jewish tradition.' Peter E. Gordon, Harvard University
'This work should certainly be read by anyone who is interested in the central role that all things biblical have played in modern theological discussions, and Jewish theology in particular.' AJS Review

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