Semites: Race, Religion, Literature


Race, Religion, Literature
Edition number: 1
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Date of Publication:
Number of Volumes: Print PDF
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Product details:

No. of pages:160 pages
Size:216x140 mm
Weight:318 g
Short description:

This book is a collection of essays about the invention?and disappearance?of the 'Semites' and the lingering effects, both institutional and theologico-political, of this invention.

Long description:

This collection of essays explores the now mostly extinct notion of "Semites." Invented in the nineteenth century and essential to the making of modern conceptions of religion and race, the strange unity of Jew and Arab under one term, "Semite" (the opposing term was "Aryan"), and the circumstances that brought about its disappearance constitute the subject of this volume. With a focus on the history of disciplines (including religious studies and Jewish studies), as well as on lingering political, theological, and cultural effects (secularism, anti-Semitism, Israel/Palestine), Semites: Race, Religion, and Literature turns to the literary imagination as the site of a fragile and tenuous alternative, the promise of something like a "Semitic perspective."

?Anidjar argues persuasively that it was precisely at the moment when Christian Europe appeared to vanish, in the wake of the Enlightenment, political revolution, and universalism, that Christendom retained its identity and power through its construction of the Semitesthe two enemies, Arab and Jew. The purported separation of religion and politics, a separation that has formed the core of Western historical thinking over the last two centuries, in fact did not occur. In less than two hundred pages, Anidjar succeeds in shifting our understanding of Christianity?s relationship to modernity, to power, to Jews and Arabs, and to Judaism and Islam.??Mitchell B. Hart, University of Florida