Unsettling Jewish Knowledge
Text, Contingency, DesireUniversity of Pennsylvania Press Jewish Culture and Contexts
Spanning the fields of literature, history, philosophy, and theology, Unsettling Jewish Knowledge adopts a fresh approach to the study of Jewish thought and culture. By creatively foregrounding the role of emotions, senses, and the imagination in Jewish experience, the book invites readers to consider what it means for Jewish identity and experience to be constituted outside the frameworks of reasoned thought and inquiry. The collection’s eight essays offer innovative and provocative approaches to a diverse array of topics including modern Jewish-Christian relations, the book of Isaiah, contemporary Jewish fiction, and philosophical meditations on Jewish law. Their bold interpretations of Jewish texts and histories are centered on questions of faith, loss, prejudice, and enchantment—and the darker implications of these questions. The book’s essays also illuminate the importance of desire as a key motivating force in the pursuit of knowledge. Weaving together insights from several disciplines, Unsettling Jewish Knowledge challenges us to grapple with the unexpected, the unconventional, and the uncomfortable aspects of Jewish experience and its representations.
Contributors: Anne C. Dailey, John Efron, Yael S. Feldman, Galit Hasan-Rokem, Martin Kavka, Lital Levy, Shaul Magid, Eva Mroczek, Paul E. Nahme, Eli Schonfeld, Shira Stav.
"What happens when Jewish studies attends to desire—the longing embedded in the texts, the practices, the people, the communities we study but also the love that fuels the Jewish studies scholar’s own passionate critical engagement? What is unsettled here are both the ways of doing scholarship, and the strangely hopeful possibilities that being unsettled can produce."—Laura Levitt, author of The Objects That Remain
"This is a groundbreaking collection of essays. The first of its kind, this superb book will ‘unsettle’ its readers in profound ways, inspiring them to seek new modes of academic inquiry."—Ilana Pardes, author of Ruth: A Migrant’s Tale