A natural yet providential tongue: Moses Mendelssohn on Hebrew as a language of action (Avi Lifschitz); “I who knows no Hebrew”: On the relation of language, identity and millenarian expectations as exemplified by Oliger Paulli (Jeannine Kunert); Between Language, Philosophy and Politics: Salomon Munk, the ›Wissenschaft des Judentums‹ and the Oriental Studies in Paris (Chiara Adorisio); A prayer for those who wield power: Hanoten teshu’a variations and models of Jewish identity in nineteenth-century Germany (Ramona Fändrich); Language and Messianity in Judaism (Donatella Di Cesare); Messianic Universalism. The social ethics and dialogue philosophy of Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber and Karl Löwith (Sabine Sander); ›You write the language of abnormal gullibility‹: Fritz Mauthner und Gustav Landauer in a dispute over language and politics (Gerald Hartung); Lost Spaces, Lost in space: Spatial Memory and Language Attitudes of German-Jewish Emigrants in Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s (Arndt Kremer); Language and Instability: Scholem and Bialik on Language and Secularization (Ilit Ferber); ›Sprachwurzellos‹: Reflections on Exile and Rootedness (Doerte Bischoff); Breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. Nobody or: The Artfulness of Language. A psychoanalytic View of Language and Politics (Christine Kirchhoff); Marx, Nietzsche, Freud: Towards a History of ›Theory‹ in Modern Jewish Thought (Philipp von Wussow); ›Words like Things‹: Siegfried Kracauer on Language, the Filmic and the Photographic Image (Elke Dubbels); Linguistic Materiality: On Literary Forms of Memory after/of the Shoah (Leena Petersen).
Beginning with the Haskalah, a rich variety of language concepts originated within the German-Jewish context. Many Jewish scholars had multilingual skills, were familiar with traditional Jewish commentary, and reached adulthood in regions that were meeting points of different cultures and denominations. In the articles gathered in this volume, language does not emerge as an isolated phenomenon; rather, it develops out of reflections on the relationship between language and politics, including questions of identity, exclusion and inclusion, loss of language, criticism, and messianic concepts. Language is perceived as a constitutive element of the social fabric, able to build bridges and draw borders. An examination of the historical and sociocultural background of the language concepts under discussion permits insights into the structure of human expression and its bearing on issues that multicultural societies address today.
With contributions by Chiara Adorisio, Doerte Bischoff, Donatella Di Cesare, Elke Dubbels, Ramona Fändrich, Ilit Ferber, Gerald Hartung, Christine Kirchhoff, Arndt Kremer, Jeannine Kunert, Avi Lifschitz, Leena Petersen, Sabine Sander, Philipp von Wussow