»Better a Scholar than a Prophet« 978-3-16-159297-3 - Mohr Siebeck
Jewish Studies

Ismar Schorsch

»Better a Scholar than a Prophet«

Studies on the Creation of Jewish Studies

[»Besser ein Gelehrter als ein Prophet«. Aufsätze zur Entstehung der Judaistik.]

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Published in English.
The Wissenschaft des Judentums was born in the battle for equality, integration, and regeneration in nineteenth-century Germany and in its turn to history posed an intellectual revolution for modern Judaism. In this volume of collected essays, Ismar Schorsch provides a contextual study of the perilous origins and rapid developments of jüdische Wissenschaft outside the framework of the German university, which dominated the field of historical scholarship at the time.
Born in the battle for equality, integration, and regeneration in nineteenth-century Germany, the Wissenschaft des Judentums is a revolution of the mind that continues unabated wherever Jews live today. The present volume is a contextual study of its perilous origins and rapid development outside the framework of the German university, which forged the tools and perspectives, and dominated the field of historical scholarship at the time. In distinct but related essays Ismar Schorsch traces the lines by which the nascent field of jüdische Wissenschaft strove to uncover new archival sources, confront the application of critical scholarship on the Hebrew Bible, and expand its horizons to the mutual interaction between Judaism and Islam. Irrespective of these seminal achievements, Wissenschaft des Judentums failed to gain admission into the German university, leaving the political emancipation of German Jewry a plant without roots.
Authors/Editors

Ismar Schorsch Born 1935; 1957 B.A., Ursinus College; 1961 M.A., Columbia University; 1962, Rabbinic Ordination, Jewish Theological Seminary; 1969 Ph.D. in History, Columbia University; 1986–2006 chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York; president of the Leo Baeck Institute in New York; currently holds the titles chancellor emeritus and Herman Abramowitz distinguished service professor of Jewish History.

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