Stiftelsen för forskning inom områden med anknytning till Östersjöregionen och Östeuropa

Experimenting with Traditions: The Life and Afterlife of 20th Century Jewish Intellectual Culture in the Baltic Sea Region

Ämne: Philosophy, The Study of Religions, Jewish Studies
Projektledare: Ulrika Björk
Startår: 2024
Projekttyp: Storprojekt
Beviljade medel: 23 606 000 kr

The project explores the philosophical, theological, and literary developments within the Jewish minority of the Baltic Sea region in the first half of the 20th century. It examines how the encounter between Rabbinic-Hassidic thought and Enlightenment philosophy gave rise to unique intellectual experiments, combining religious and philosophical traditions into new forms of thought and expression – what one of its leading representatives, Franz Rosenzweig, called a new thinking. The aim of the project is to trace, describe, and explain these accomplishments, from within the tensions between margin and centre, minority and majority, national belonging and diaspora. This intellectual minority gave expression to hybrid forms of identity in ways that have affected critical theory, theology, and philosophy into the present. The research group brings together Philosophy, The Study of Religions, Theology, Jewish Studies, Narrative Theory, Literature, and Memory Studies. It expands previous research in two significant ways: First, it studies the groundbreaking intellectual efforts by the German-speaking philosophical representatives of this generation in relation to the larger context of Eastern European Rabbinic learning culture. Second, it traces the survival and reappearance of prewar Jewish philosophical and religious thought in intellectual developments into the present, especially in non-hegemonic discourses such as feminism and post-colonial thought.