In the past decades the 'German-Jewish phenomenon' (Derrida) has increasingly attracted the attention of scholars from various fields: Jewish studies, intellectual history, philosophy, literary and cultural studies, critical theory. In all its complex dimensions, the post-enlightenment German-Jewish experience is overwhelmingly regarded as the most quintessential and charged meeting of Jews with the project of modernity. Perhaps for this reason, from the eighteenth century through to our own time it has been the object of intense reflection, of clashing interpretations and appropriations. In both micro and macro case-studies, this volume engages the multiple perspectives as advocated by manifold interested actors, and analyzes their uses, biases and ideological functions over time in different cultural, disciplinary and national contexts. This volume includes both historical treatments of differing German-Jewish understandings of their experience - their relations to their Judaism, general culture and to other Jews - and contemporary reflections and competing interpretations as to how to understand the overall experience of German Jewry.
Steven E. Aschheim, Hebrew University, Israel; Vivian Liska, University of Antwerp, Belgium.