_Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and Interreligious Hermeneutics: Ways of Seeing the Religious Other_ examines the hermeneutics of interreligious encounter, investigating the implicit judgments of Judaism and Islam that often arise in contexts of conflict.
This contribution is an examination of so-called “religious antisemitism” vis-à-vis the various Christian religious communities and/or denominations at the present time, framed by the recognition that, over the last several years, an increase in antisemitism in the United States has been shown by figures compiled by both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Anti-Defamation League. It is further framed by examining the 2015 Pew Research Center Report “America’s Changing Religious Landscape,” and its 2016 “If the U.S. had (...) 100 people: Charting America’s Religious Affiliations.”. (shrink)
This paper argues for a ‘contextualist’ approach to teaching antisemitism in philosophy class. The traditional ‘systematic’ approach emphasizes recognizing and dismantling antisemitic aspects in canonical philosophical texts. The introduced contextualist approach broadens the perspective, treating philosophy as a continuous debate embedded in cultural realities. It focuses on historical controversies rather than isolated arguments, includes the voice and the perspectives of the oppressed, and so has the potential to broaden traditional philosophical canons. In the second half of the paper, we (...) provide a case study of the contextualist approach, applying it to the ‘Berlin antisemitism controversy’ of 1879/80. We argue that the contextualist approach is particularly valuable when dealing with antisemitism as it teaches students to analyze arguments within the socio-political landscape and to identify antisemitic elements. The students thereby acquire the skills to discern antisemitic argumentation in other contexts as well. We suggest that this approach could be used to teach other debates in the history of philosophy, especially those tackling race, sex, and gender issues. (shrink)
With the publication of Martin Heidegger’s Black Notebooks, it has become impossible to avoid Heidegger’s anti-Semitism. There has been the expected controversy with Heideggerians on the defensive and the philosopher’s detractors condemning his work outright. But there has been little serious exploration of the matter aside from several recent works. This article builds on this literature on Heidegger’s anti-Semitism and concludes that an anti-Semitic narrative lies at the heart of Heidegger’s history of the oblivion of Being as nihilism. Moreover, Heidegger (...) adopts the narrative framework set up by Friedrich Nietzsche in On the Genealogy of Morality. In the end, we assert that Heidegger advocates a kind of war against Judaism that seeks to eradicate the Jewish influence in the western tradition. Heidegger’s ‘metaphysical’ anti-Semitism aims to overcome the nihilism of the ‘Jewish Christian’ revenge [Rache] against death, a nihilism that has evolved into the technological effort to make everything secure. (shrink)
This chapter focuses on the resurgence of antisemitism. It argues that Hannah Arendt is a great prop and stay and comfort in dark times like these, because she was always very acute on the morbidly stupid element of totalitarianism. The absurdity of totalitarian thinking is related to its attack on the life of the mind, and Arendt was quite right to insist on confronting this anti-intellectual element of totalitarianism and the racist element in it.
This chapter examines: (1) the Black Notebooks in the context of Heidegger's political engagement on behalf of the National Socialist regime and his ambivalence toward some but not all of its political beliefs and tactics; (2) his limited "critique" of vulgar National Socialism and its biologically based racism for the sake of his own ethnocentric vision of the historical uniqueness of the German people and Germany's central role in Europe as a contested site situated between West and East, technological modernity (...) and the Asiatic. Heidegger did not break with radical right-wing Germanist thought, as some scholars have argued. He at most placed National Socialism within his narrative of the history of being, metaphysics, and technology, and thereby relativized it without addressing either its uniqueness or its totalitarian structures and practices. Heidegger formulated his own metaphysical and ontological version of Antisemitism during the National Socialist period. This vision was deeply connected with his understanding of the "history of being" and was intensified during and immediately after the Second World War. Heidegger could perceive no difference between the Shoah and the Allied bombing, defeat, and occupation of Germany. Heidegger's post-war philosophy (of home, history and technology) is deeply shaped by, and remained complicit with, his thinking during this period. (shrink)
The history of the Frankfurt School cannot be fully told without examining the relationships of Critical Theorists to their Jewish family backgrounds. Jewish matters had significant effects on key figures in the Frankfurt School, including Max Horkheimer, Theodor W. Adorno, Erich Fromm, Leo Lowenthal and Herbert Marcuse. At some points, their Jewish family backgrounds clarify their life paths; at others, these backgrounds help to explain why the leaders of the School stressed the significance of antisemitism. In the post-Second World (...) War era, the differing relationships of Critical Theorists to their Jewish origins illuminate their distinctive stances toward Israel. This book investigates how the Jewish backgrounds of major Critical Theorists, and the ways in which they related to their origins, impacted upon their work, the history of the Frankfurt School, and differences that emerged among them over time. (shrink)
Abstract: The paper deals with “Christian Zionists”, who have born out of Protestantism, conglomerate particularly in the United States of America, provide a non-proportional support for Israel and who at the same time antagonize Islam. The movement’s quiddity, genesis, theology, activities, as well as anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic tendencies are elaborated. According to initial findings, Christian Zionism constitutes an anomaly from a number of perspectives. Most importantly, Jews and Christians symbolize two communities that have been violently antagonizing each other since centuries. (...) Defenders of Christian Zionism believe in the eschatological scenario of “premillennial dispensationalism”, a theology mainly introduced by the Anglo-Irish priest John Nelson Darby that divides world history before the establishment of the global Millennial Empire following the Second Coming into seven dispensations. This scenario determines the raison d’être, purposes, friends and foes of the movement. While the Jewish role in it as frenemies is controversial and ambivalent, Muslims’ role as enemies is unequivocally unfavorable. This situation leads to the demonization of Muslims by Christian Zionist figures. Albeit being criticized by co-religionists in a number of areas including ethics, politics and particularly theology, Christian Zionists occupy a significant position in world politics thanks to their alliance with imperial powers. The paper aims to fill the scholarly gap caused by the scarcity of Turkish literature on Christian Zionism’s quiddity, as well as its nexus with antisemitism and anti-Islamism. -/- Öz: Çalışma Hıristiyanlığın Protestanlık mezhebinden doğan, özellikle Amerika Birleşik Devletleri’nde kümelendiği gözlemlenen, İsrail’i ve Yahudileri orantısızca desteklemesiyle bilinen ve aynı zamanda İslam’a ve Müslümanlara karşı düşmanca yaklaşımları haiz “Hıristiyan siyonistlerini” ele almaktadır. Hareketin mahiyeti, doğuşu, teolojisi, faaliyetleri ve kendisinde mündemiç olan antisemitizm ile anti-İslamizm olguları incelenmektedir. Bulgulara göre, Hıristiyan siyonizmi çeşitli açılardan bakıldığında bir anomali teşkil etmektedir. Bunlardan en önemlisi, Yahudilerin ve Hıristiyanların yüzyıllarca birbirlerine en üst seviyede düşmanlık etmiş olan iki topluluk oluşudur. Hıristiyan siyonistler dünya tarihini Mesih’in zuhuruyla birlikte kurulacak olan bin yıllık küresel krallık öncesindeki yedi bölüm olarak ele alan, sınırları büyük ölçüde İngiliz-İrlandalı teolog John Nelson Darby tarafından çizilen ve “premillennial dispensationalism (premilenyal dispensasyonalizm)” olarak bilinen teolojinin öngördüğü kıyamet senaryosuna inanmaktadır. Bu senaryo hareketin varlık sebebini, amaçlarını, dostlarını ve düşmanlarını belirlemektedir. Dost-düşmanlar olarak Yahudilerin buradaki rolü bazı çelişkiler ve ihtilaflar barındırırken, düşmanlar olarak Müslümanların rolü açıkça olumsuz bir görünüm arz etmektedir. Bunun sonucu olarak Hıristiyan siyonistler Müslümanları şeytanlaştırma eğilimine girmektedir. Her ne kadar dindaşları tarafından ahlak, siyaset ve özellikle teoloji eksenlerinde ağır eleştirilere tabi tutulsalar da Hıristiyan siyonistler emperyalist güçlerle olan uzun ittifaklarının da bir meyvesi olarak dünya politikasında kayda değer bir güce sahiptir. Hıristiyan siyonizminin mahiyeti ve dahi antisemitizm ve anti-İslamizm ile irtibatı konusunda Türkçe yazılmış eserlerin azlığına binaen çalışma literatürdeki bu boşluğu kapatma amacı taşımaktadır. (shrink)
Unlike “Imperialism” and “Totalitarianism,” the last two chapters in Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism, written in the United States in the 1940s, the completion of the first chapter, “Antisemitism”, was preceded by more than two decades of writing in Europe and in the United States, during which Arendt found it increasingly necessary to address issues related to the Jews’ political and social situation. The chapter may be only one part of the book, but it is in fact the (...) “origin of The Origins” and its cornerstone. In order to trace several themes of this seminal chapter, we must analyze the contribution of the French Jewish thinker, Bernard Lazare, to Arendt’s thinking. Without him, “Antisemitism” would never have coalesced and seen the light of day as a political analysis of the phenomenon. Without the “Antisemitism” chapter, The Origins of Totalitarianism would not have become a canonical work of twentieth-century political thought. (shrink)
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance developed a ‘Working Definition of Antisemitism’ in 2016. Whilst the definition has received a significant amount of media attention, we are not aware of any comprehensive philosophical analysis. This article analyses this definition. We conclude that the definition and its list of examples ought to be rejected. The urgency to do so stems from the fact that pro-Israel activists can and have mobilised the IHRA document for political goals unrelated to tackling antisemitism, notably (...) to stigmatise and silence critics of the Israeli government. This causes widespread self-censorship, has an adverse impact on freedom of speech, and impedes action against the unjust treatment of Palestinians. We also identify intrinsic problems in the way the definition refers to criticism of Israel similar ‘to that leveled against any other country’, ambiguous wording about ‘the power of Jews as a collective’, lack of clarity as to the Jewish people’s ‘right to self-determination’, and its denial of obvious racism. We consider alternative definitions and prefer one like the Oxford English Dictionary definition, ‘hostility to or prejudice against Jews’, with the addition of the words ‘as Jews’. We recognise that the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism can play a useful purpose in illustrating the shortcomings of the IHRA definition. However, we do not advocate promoting it as the prime international definition. Indeed, we question the efficacy of using complex new definitions to combat racism against Jews or other groups, and instead advocate combatting it through collective action across societies. (shrink)
Summary Despite his repudiation of antisemitism, Renan influenced the development of antisemitic ideologies in both France and Germany. His typology of ?Semite? and ?Aryan? was adopted especially in Germany and and combined with biological concepts of race to become the foundation of the concepts of ?Semitism? and ?Antisemitism?. Renan, however, always insisted on a linguistic/cultural definition of race and regarded the biological conception, while it might have had some primitive reality, as outmoded and immoral in European civilization. After (...) 1870 the growth of German racial antisemitism led Renan to elaborate repeatedly on race as a civilisational phenomenon that in modern Europe should have lost its biological origins. His argument that modern Jews were integral members of the French ?nation? and ?civilization? was profoundly influential on the emergence of the theory of the modern ?nation? as the liberal state. Gobineau's theory of race also lent itself to exploitation by racial antisemites, though it was not overtly antisemitic. Unlike Renan, however, Gobineau in his later years inclined to a vague personal antisemitism. The main difference was one of temperament as well as devotion on Renan's part to a liberal idea of the nation, as opposed to Gobineau's aversion to liberalism and modern civilization. (shrink)
This paper is an exploration of the ideology of National Socialism in the work and activity of the German terrorist group and Black Metal band Absurd. Historians are divided—and many have criticized how postwar Germany dealt with denazification—, but the fact is that Nazi ideology has been part of the political and social spheres in Germany since then. Neo‑Nazism saw a revival especially in the first years after unification, which coincided with the beginning of Absurd’s story and career. Today, they (...) hold the title of the National Socialist Black Metal act par excellence, with a 28‑year music career actively supporting and promoting Nazi ideology. Absurd makes a very interesting case study, since the band has played a key role in preserving and transmitting Nazi ideology, not just in Germany, but also worldwide. (shrink)
“Just for the record, however: I don't hate Communists.” So wrote Arcadius Rudolph Lang Gurland to his longtime friend, colleague, and collaborator Otto Kirchheimer in 1958.1 Behind this straightforward statement lay over thirty years of Gurland's experience as a passionate scholar, spokesperson, and advocate of that most dialectical of the many forms of socialist politics, revolutionary social democracy. Throughout his peripatetic life of near-constant exile in Russia, Germany, France, and the United States as student, journalist, theoretician, researcher, writer, teacher, and (...) translator in the service of political organizations, newspapers, research institutions, universities, governments, publishers, and his own political and scholarly.. (shrink)
“Is X good for the Jews?” This is the formula Bruno Chaouat borrows for the title of his recent book. It’s a cliché of a question, one that suggests notes of antisemitic caricature as well as Jewish self-parody. The formula may be imagined in the voice of the antisemite, whose perennial accusation against the Jews is that they are insular and parochial, exclusively concerned for their own, tribal welfare. Alternatively, it may be imagined in the voice of the shlemiehl, the (...) Jewish version of the fool archetype, scripted to say such things by a self-reflective and self-parodic Jewish comedy writer. So, it’s a question that antisemites may imagine Jews to ask, and one that Jews may imagine antisemites imagine Jews to... (shrink)