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Penn Press at AJS 2023

Unsettling Jewish Knowledge

Unsettling Jewish Knowledge

Text, Contingency, Desire

by Anne C. Dailey, Martin Kavka, Lital Levy

4 b/w illus.

  • Hardcover
  • 9781512824308
  • Published: September 2023



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.