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Powers of Diaspora: Two Essays on the Relevance of Jewish Culture

Jonathan Boyarin
Daniel Boyarin
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Powers of Diaspora
    Book Description:

    Focusing on Jewish experience, Powers of Diaspora forcefully argues that diasporic communities exercise a distinct form of cultural power in order to maintain themselves.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9167-8
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Introduction: Powers of Diaspora
    (pp. 1-34)

    In the midst of an extended exposition on the genealogical principle in the West, Pierre Legendre presents the following definition of humanity: “Man is ‘What is?’” (1985, 76). What could this possibly mean? Let us look at the source cited by Legendre, an excerpt from the Babylonian Talmud:

    Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Ele˓azar son of Rabbi Simeon, Wherever you find the words of R. Ele˓azar the son of Rabbi Yose the Galilean in anAggadahmake your ear like a funnel. [For he said, It is written,]It is not because you were greater than any...

  5. Tricksters, Martyrs, and Collaborators Diaspora and the Gendered Politics of Resistance
    (pp. 35-102)

    Esther, Ya˓el, and Judith save themselves and the Jewish people by seducing and deceiving a powerful male gentile. They are all highly valued within the Jewish hermeneutic tradition, and, to the best of our knowledge, never condemned for their deviousness in achieving victory over stronger male adversaries. We would like to suggest that the Jews identified themselves as a people with these heroines, and thus as female, with the appropriation of tactics of survival that belonged “by nature” to women. A nineteenth-century Danish theologian, Hans Lassen Martensen, saw a similar connection. He observed that “Women try to gain power through...

  6. Circumscribing Constitutional Identities in Kiryas Joel
    (pp. 103-128)

    TheKiryas Joelcase decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1994 turned on the constitutionality, under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, of New York State legislation establishing a separate school district providing special education exclusively for Hasidic Jewish children.¹ That legislation was deemed to be an unconstitutional establishment of religion. However, in line with certain dicta of the Court, the legislation was redrafted in a fashion that appeared to permit the separate school district to continue in existence. At present the fate of the district is once again being litigated.

    A substantial amount of commentary has already...

  7. Notes
    (pp. 129-158)
  8. Bibliography
    (pp. 159-172)
  9. Index
    (pp. 173-188)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 189-189)