Diasporas and Exiles: Varieties of Jewish Identity

  • Publish Date: 2002-10-07
  • Binding: Hardcover
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Diaspora, considered as a context for insights into Jewish identity, brings together a lively, interdisciplinary group of scholars in this innovative volume. Readers needn't expect, however, to find easy agreement on what those insights are. The concept diaspora itself has proved controversial; galut, the traditional Hebrew expression for the Jews' perennial condition, is better translated as exile. The very distinction between diaspora and exile, although difficult to analyze, is important enough to form the basis of several essays in this fine collection.

Identity is an even more elusive concept. The contributors to Diasporas and Exiles explore Jewish identityor, more accurately, Jewish identitiesfrom the mutually illuminating perspectives of anthropology, art history, comparative literature, cultural studies, German history, philosophy, political theory, and sociology. These contributors bring exciting new emphases to Jewish and cultural studies, as well as the emerging field of diaspora studies. Diasporas and Exiles mirrors the richness of experience and the attendant virtual impossibility of definition that constitute the challenge of understanding Jewish identity.