Heidegger and His Jewish Reception by Daniel M. Herskowitz
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In this book, Daniel Herskowitz examines the rich, intense, and persistent Jewish engagement with one of the most important and controversial modern philosophers, Martin Heidegger. Contextualizing this encounter within wider intellectual, cultural, and political contexts, he outlines the main patterns and the diverse Jewish responses to Heidegger. Herskowitz shows that through a dialectic of attraction and repulsion, Jewish thinkers developed a version of Jewishness that sought to offer the way out of the overall crisis plaguing their world, which was embodied, as they saw it, in Heidegger’s life and thought. Neither turning a blind eye to Heidegger’s anti-Semitism nor using it as an excuse for ignoring his philosophy, they wrestled with his existential analytic and what they took to be its religious, ethical, and political failings. Ironically, Heidegger’s thought proved itself to be fertile ground for re-conceptualizing what it means to be Jewish in the modern world.
Year first published: 2023