Sunday, January 22, 2012

"The Political Philosophy of Zionism"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Political Philosophy of Zionism: Trading Jewish Words for a Hebraic Land by Eyal Chowers.

About the book, from the publisher:
Zionism emerged at the end of the nineteenth century in response to a rise in anti-Semitism in Europe, to a deteriorating economic predicament of Jews in Eastern Europe, and to the crisis of modern Jewish identity. This novel, national revolution aimed to unite a scattered community defined mainly by shared texts and literary tradition, into a vibrant political entity destined for the Holy Land. As this remarkable book demonstrates, however, Zionism was about much more than a national political ideology and practice. This movement pictured time as wholly open and aesthetic in nature, attempted to humanize space through collective action, and enlivened the Hebrew language but stripped it of its privileged ontological status in Judaism. By tracing the origins of Zionism in the context of a European history of ideas, and by considering the writings of key Jewish and Hebrew writers and thinkers from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the book offers an entirely new philosophical perspective on Zionism as a unique movement based on intellectual boldness and belief in human action. In counter-distinction to the studies of history and ideology that dominate the field, this book also offers a new way of reflecting upon contemporary Israeli politics.