Experimenting with tradition – early 20th century East-European Jewish and German dialogues as a source of philosophical modernity


Project leader: Ulrika Björk
Starting year: 2022
Project type: Research network
Total funding: SEK 82,000

The purpose of this network is to explore the aspiration born in the circle of East-European and German thinkers of Jewish descent from the early 20th century, to forge a “new thinking” (in the words of Franz Rosenzweig), by combining the Greek and the Jewish intellectual heritage in innovative ways. With particular focus on the tension between universalism and particularism in the whole Enlightenment project, key issues to be studied are the meaning of tradition as such, as a way to enlarge the intellectual space of orientation for European self-identity, and language, as both a source of (national) homogenization and as possibility for the enactment of new cultural connections through translation. The network gathers international expertise in German Idealism, late 19th century and early 20th century Eastern German-Jewish philosophy and theology, Hebrew biblical and Talmud interpretation. Drawing on methods from philosophy, theology, hermeneutics, and translation studies, the network will strengthen the collaboration between the research environments of philosophy and the study of religion at Södertörn University in a field that is growing internationally.