Synopses & Reviews
In a groundbreaking book, Neta Stahl examines the attitudes adopted by modern Jewish writers toward the figure of Jesus. Stahl argues that twentieth-century Jewish writers reconsidered Jesus' traditional status as the Christian Other and looked to him instead as a fellow Jew, a "brother," and even as a model for the "New Jew."
Other and Brother analyzes the work of a wide array of modern Jewish writers, beginning in the early twentieth century and ending with contemporary Israeli literature. Stahl takes the reader through dramatic changes in Jewish life from the Haskalah (or Jewish Enlightenment) and Emancipation, to Zionism, the Holocaust, and the formation of the state of Israel. She shows, for example, how the emergence of quasi-messianic Zionist ideas about returning to the land of Israel, where the actual Jesus was born, helped make the figure of Jesus a source of attraction and identification for Hebrew and Yiddish writers in the first half of the twentieth century, and how the fateful events of that century brought about a major transformation in the Jewish attitude toward Jesus.
Stahl's nuanced and insightful historiography of modern Hebrew and Jewish literature will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the role of Jesus in Jewish culture.
About the Author
is an Assistant Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature at the Humanities Center and the Jewish Studies Program at The Johns Hopkins University. She received her Ph.D. in Poetics and Comparative Literature from Tel Aviv University in 2005 and taught at Yale University and at the University of Chicago before joining the Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins in 2008. She has published numerous articles on Modern Hebrew and Jewish Literature and the intersection of religion and literature.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: A New Jew, a New Jesus: Jesus and the Jewish National Culture in the First Half of the Twentieth Century
Chapter 2: Cut from all of his Brothers, from his Blood - The Figure of Jesus in the Poetry of Uri Zvi Greenberg
Chapter 3: The Temptation of the Cross - The Figure of Jesus in Israeli Literature
Chapter 4: The Father and the Son of God - Jesus in the Works of Yoel Hoffmann
Chapter 5: "I left Yeshu" - Jesus in the Poetry of Avot Yeshurun
Epilogue: The Ironic Gaze at Brother Jesus