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The Modernity of OthersJewish Anti-Catholicism in Germany and France$
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Ari Joskowicz

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804787024

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804787024.001.0001

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Jewish Anticlericalism and the Making of Modern Citizenship in the Late Enlightenment

Jewish Anticlericalism and the Making of Modern Citizenship in the Late Enlightenment

(p.63) Two Jewish Anticlericalism and the Making of Modern Citizenship in the Late Enlightenment
The Modernity of Others

Ari Joskowicz

Stanford University Press

In the late Enlightenment, Jews in Germany and France first started to engage publicly with politics in German and French. This chapter shows that from this early moment, anticlericalism and anti-Catholicism emerged as important themes for Jewish enlighteners, who found that anticlerical polemics offered them the chance to become part of Enlightenment intellectual circles. After the French Revolution, anticlericalism also allowed French Jews to demonstrate their patriotism to a newly anticlerical state. Examples drawn from the works of eight Jewish enlighteners—including Moses Mendelssohn and Abraham Furtado—highlight the similar anticlerical strategies of Jewish authors from Bordeaux to Metz and Berlin to Breslau. Unlike late nineteenth-century antisemites, who denounced Jews for dividing the nation with their anti-Catholicism, in the late eighteenth century, Enlightenment thinkers accepted the anticlericalism of Jewish enlighteners because they considered it proof of Jews’ ability to transcend parochial Jewish concerns.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, anti-Catholicism, anticlericalism, French Revolution, Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment), French Jewish history, German Jewish history

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