Socrates And The Jews: Hellenism And Hebraism From Moses Mendelssohn To Sigmund Freud

Paperback | October 24, 2014

byMiriam Leonard

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"What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” Asked by the early Christian Tertullian, the question was vigorously debated in the nineteenth century. While classics dominated the intellectual life of Europe, Christianity still prevailed and conflicts raged between the religious and the secular. Taking on the question of how the glories of the classical world could be reconciled with the Bible, Socrates and the Jews explains how Judaism played a vital role in defining modern philhellenism.

Exploring the tension between Hebraism and Hellenism, Miriam Leonard gracefully probes the philosophical tradition behind the development of classical philology and considers how the conflict became a preoccupation for the leading thinkers of modernity, including Matthew Arnold, Moses Mendelssohn, Kant, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. For each, she shows how the contrast between classical and biblical traditions is central to writings about rationalism, political subjectivity, and progress. Illustrating how the encounter between Athens and Jerusalem became a lightning rod for intellectual concerns, this book is a sophisticated addition to the history of ideas.

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"What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” Asked by the early Christian Tertullian, the question was vigorously debated in the nineteenth century. While classics dominated the intellectual life of Europe, Christianity still prevailed and conflicts raged between the religious and the secular. Taking on the question of how the glories of th...

Miriam Leonard is professor of Greek literature and its reception at University College London. She is the author of Athens in Parisand How to Read Ancient Philosophy.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:October 24, 2014Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022621334X

ISBN - 13:9780226213347

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
Note on Translations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Athens and Jerusalem

1. Socrates and the Reason of Judaism: Moses Mendelssohn and Immanuel Kant 
Socrates and the Age of Enlightenment
Mendelssohn’s Phaedo
Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone
Mendelssohn and the French Revolution

2. Noah and Noesis: Greeks, Jews, and the Hegelian Dialectic
Socrates and Christ, Kant and Hegel
Noah and Deucalion
Abraham and the Greek Republics
The Tragedy of Judaism

3. Matthew Arnold in Zion: Hebrews, Hellenes, Aryans, and Semites
History, Language, Culture
Arnold: Between Psychomachy and Physiology
The Philological Laboratory and the Jewish Question

4. Greeks, Jews, and the Death of God: Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche
Greek Nature and Jewish Appetites: Ludwig Feuerbach’s The Essence of Christianity
Prometheus and the Pentateuch: Karl Marx ”On the Jewish Question”
“Dionysus against the Crucified”: Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Christianity

5. Moses on the Acropolis: Sigmund Freud
The Disturbance of Philology
The Life of Moses
The Triumph of Geistigkeit
Between Hannibal and Winckelmann

Epilogue: “Metaphors we live by ... ”

Works Cited
Index

Editorial Reviews

"A thought-provoking, extremely well-argued demystification on two fronts. . . . She offers lucid readings of texts that enjoy a reputation among classicists as being important yet-very-hard-to-read, which means they are in fact not much read at all. But she also shows that those texts have thoroughly shaped our work as classical scholars, our assumptions, questions, and our own disciplinary framework--an insight possibly even more uncomfortable to confront than the conclusion that Athens and Jerusalem have been a staple of our political thinking. . . . This is an important book, deserving a large and serious readership."