Next Article in Journal
Penitence, Confession, and the Power of Submission in Late Medieval Women's Religious Communities
Next Article in Special Issue
The City of Man, European Émigrés, and the Genesis of Postwar Conservative Thought
Previous Article in Journal
The English Version of the Multidimensional Inventory for Religious/Spiritual Well-Being (MI-RSWB-E): First Results from British College Students
Previous Article in Special Issue
Twentieth-Century Jewish Émigrés and Medieval European Economic History
Religions 2012, 3(3), 600-645; doi:10.3390/rel3030600
Article

Typology and the Holocaust: Erich Auerbach and Judeo-Christian Europe

History Department, Duke University, Box 90719, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Received: 25 May 2012 / Revised: 7 July 2012 / Accepted: 11 July 2012 / Published: 17 July 2012
Download PDF [769 KB, uploaded 17 July 2012]

Abstract

In response to Nazi exclusion of the Jews from German society on racial grounds, Erich Auerbach (1892–1957), a secular Jewish intellectual inspired by cultural Protestantism and Catholicism, formed a vision of a cosmopolitan Judeo-Christian civilization that reintegrated the Jews as biblical founders and cultural mediators. But the integration expunged any mark of traditional Jewishness. Focusing on Christian figurative thinking (typology), Auerbach viewed the binding of Isaac through the crucifixion, and contemporary Jews as civilization’s (unwilling and undeserving) martyrs. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, his cosmopolitanism reached a crisis, reflected in his postwar vision of Western decline. The progressive mandarin who had begun his intellectual life elevating Dante’s care for everyday life and sympathizing with French realist social critique ended endorsing Hugh of St. Victor’s alienation from reality and Pascal’s acquiescence in totalitarian rule.
Keywords: Auerbach; émigrés; cosmopolitanism; Judeo-Christian; typology; Holocaust; figura; Akedah; Mimesis; everydayness Auerbach; émigrés; cosmopolitanism; Judeo-Christian; typology; Holocaust; figura; Akedah; Mimesis; everydayness
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote
MDPI and ACS Style

Hacohen, M.H. Typology and the Holocaust: Erich Auerbach and Judeo-Christian Europe. Religions 2012, 3, 600-645.

View more citation formats

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here

Comments

Cited By

[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert