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Religions 2012, 3(3), 600-645; doi:10.3390/rel3030600
Article

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

Received: 25 May 2012; in revised form: 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.

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MDPI and ACS Style

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

AMA Style

Hacohen MH. Typology and the Holocaust: Erich Auerbach and Judeo-Christian Europe. Religions. 2012; 3(3):600-645.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hacohen, Malachi Haim. 2012. "Typology and the Holocaust: Erich Auerbach and Judeo-Christian Europe." Religions 3, no. 3: 600-645.


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