Seeking Zion: Modernity and Messianic Activism in the Writings of Tsevi Hirsch Kalischer

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The religious thought of Rabbi Tsevi Hirsch Kalischer seems a promising starting point for a study of messianism in the Jewish encounter with modernity. Kalischer himself stood at the vortex of dramatic changes that were transforming Jewish life in the mid-nineteenth century. He lived on the seam line between Eastern and Western European Jewries, at a crucial historical juncture that witnessed political upheaval, the rise of nationalism, the crisis of enlightenment thought. His lifetime spanned the period of great hopes for Jewish emancipation and early disenchantment with it. Religiously and philosophically, Kalischer was in some sense both a remnant of an increasingly challenged traditional society and a harbinger of modern Jewish politics. In his thought, Kalischer embodied the pivotal role which messianic impulses played in the transformations of Jewish life in the nineteenth-century encounter with modernity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-188
Number of pages3
JournalAJS Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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