Socrates and the JewsHellenism and Hebraism from Moses Mendelssohn to Sigmund Freud

Socrates and the JewsHellenism and Hebraism from Moses Mendelssohn to Sigmund Freud

Miriam Leonard

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226472478

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

“What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” Asked by the early Christian Tertullian, this question was vigorously debated in the nineteenth century. While classics dominated the intellectual life of Europe, Christianity still prevailed and conflicts raged between the religious and the secular. Taking on the question of how the glories of the classical world could be reconciled with the Bible, this book explains how Judaism played a vital role in defining modern philhellenism. Exploring the tension between Hebraism and Hellenism, it looks at the philosophical tradition behind the development of classical philology and considers how the conflict became a preoccupation for the leading thinkers of modernity, including Matthew Arnold, Moses Mendelssohn, Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud. For each, the book shows how the contrast between classical and biblical traditions is central to writings about rationalism, political subjectivity, and progress.