Political Economy as a Test of Modern Judaism
AbstractAccording to a common narrative, Jews entered the modern world at a steep price. From an autonomous corporation, ruling themselves internally according to their own standards and law, Judaism became a “religion,” divested of political power and responsible only for the internal sphere of “faith” or belief. The failure of this project, in turn, gave rise to the sharp split between Jewish nationalism and religion-based conceptions of Judaism. Many modern Jewish thinkers sought to resolve this antinomy by imagining ways for Judaism to once again form the basis of a “complete life”. This essay seeks to challenge this narrative by examining the extent to which economics, another one of the “spheres” emerging together with modernity and often considered under the same broadly Weberian process of rationalization, ever truly formed part of the holistic, self-contained Jewish autonomous life for which modern thinkers expressed so much nostalgia. It will argue that rather than forming part of the internal world of Judaism and then being fragmented outward into a separate sphere under the pressure of modernity, the “economic sphere” was imagined and defined for the first time in modernity, and projected backwards into earlier eras. This projection was then taken as proof of Judaism’s ability to “be about everything,” whether in a religious or nationalist idiom. View Full-Text
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Brody, S.H. Political Economy as a Test of Modern Judaism. Religions 2019, 10, 78.
Brody SH. Political Economy as a Test of Modern Judaism. Religions. 2019; 10(2):78.Chicago/Turabian Style
Brody, Samuel H. 2019. "Political Economy as a Test of Modern Judaism." Religions 10, no. 2: 78.
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