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Obstinate HebrewsRepresentations of Jews in France, 1715-1815$
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Ronald Schechter

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520235571

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520235571.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 15 June 2021

Jews and Philosophes

Jews and Philosophes

(p.35) Chapter 2 Jews and Philosophes
Obstinate Hebrews

Schechter Ronald

University of California Press

Historians apprehensive about the relationship between the Enlightenment and the Jews have leaned to ask whether the philosophers were anti-Semitic or philo-Semitic, whether their plans for the integration of Jews into Gentile society were a positive or negative development, and whether those Jews who embraced the Enlightenment were liberating themselves or terribly casting aside their ancient identity. These are all variations on a single question, namely whether the Enlightenment was good or bad for the Jews. They have been debated since the time of the Enlightenment itself, though some of the terms are specific to a later age. The question of whether the Enlightenment was good or bad for the Jews is more accurately speaking the expression of one's feelings about Enlightenment universal on the one hand and the destiny, character, or obligations of the Jewish people on the other.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, integration, philosophers, ancient identity, Jewish people

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