Jewish Identity in the Modern World

Michael A. Meyer, Author, Mich Meyer, Author University of Washington Press $20 (110p) ISBN 978-0-295-97000-4
Informed by a broad historical vision, Meyer identifies three main forces that have compelled Jews to reevaluate their self-definition. One is anti-Semitism, which has both strengthened and weakened Jewish ties. Another is the secularism spawned by the European Enlightenment, pulling many Jews almost completely outside the orbit of their faith. The ``sense of Jewish peoplehood,'' grounded in an identification with the state of Israel, remains the strongest component of Jewish identity today, writes the author, a professor at Hebrew Union College's Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. In Franz Kafka's existential odyssey, which ended in an intense affirmation of Judaism, Meyer finds signposts that can help contemporary questers repossess their Jewish identity. This set of three lectures is a clearsighted, sagacious exploration of pressing issues. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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