By David Nirenberg
A magisterial heritage, starting from antiquity to the current, that unearths anti-Judaism to be a style of inspiration deeply embedded within the Western tradition.
There is a common tendency to treat anti-Judaism - even if expressed in an off-the-cuff comment or carried out via pogrom or extermination crusade - as by some means unheard of: an unlucky indicator of private prejudice or the stunning final result of an extremist ideology married to power.
But, as David Nirenberg argues during this ground-breaking learn, to restrict anit-Judaism to the margins of our tradition is to be dangerously complacent. Anti-Judaism isn't an irrational closet within the large edifice of Western inspiration, yet fairly one of many easy instruments with which that edifice used to be developed.
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Extra resources for Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition
Aristotle, Hegel, and Kant would all be shocked if they read some of the subsequent philosophers who claim to be members of the philosophical traditions to which they are supposed to have given birth. Indeed, consider the case of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas. If there has ever been a true Aristotelian, Thomas was one. Yet, the Christian view of God he used to understand Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover would have shocked Aristotle. And the centerpiece of Thomas’ thought, his understanding of being as an act which perfects even essence, would have been unintelligible to the Stagirite.
The same tradition was never established in Mexico, and the reason has to do precisely with particular circumstances in that country. Moreover, not only the establishment, but also the particular forms traditions take and the ways they are enacted are affected by context. B. Conceptions of Tradition It has been common to conceive tradition in terms of one or more of the factors I have listed. Of course, it Old Wine in New Skins 43 would make no sense to identify some of them with it. The personal roles involved in tradition fall into this category, and the same can be said about the aim, uses, and context of tradition, as well as the actions of initiating, establishing, receiving, or bearing it.
S. Eliot puts it, “What happens [in the creative act of the artist] is a continual surrender of himself as he is at the moment to something which is more valuable. The progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality,” for “he can neither take the past as a lump. . 24 But, then, how can they have the identity they require to solve the problems to which I have referred? 30 Jorge J. E. Gracia 2 The Identity of Tradition An understanding of how tradition can be used in the solution to the problems of communication, the transmission of knowledge, and group identity necessitates that we determine the conditions of its own identity.
Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition by David Nirenberg