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Modernity and the Jews in Western Social Thought$
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Chad Alan Goldberg

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226460413

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226460697.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 15 May 2021

Conclusions

Conclusions

Chapter:
(p.104) 5 Conclusions
Source:
Modernity and the Jews in Western Social Thought
Author(s):

Chad Alan Goldberg

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226460697.003.0005

This chapter summarizes the book’s main findings and elaborates its broader implications for contemporary scholarship on Jews, modernity, and the history of sociology. The chapter also addresses how the recurring patterns and habits of thought documented in previous chapters were reproduced across space and time, why Jews have been such a prominent reference point for European and American social thinkers, why Jews came to signify such varied and inconsistent meanings, and how the book’s findings relate to past studies of Orientalism, Occidentalism, and European perceptions of America. Lastly, this chapter challenges scholarly claims that new minority groups—most notably, Muslims—have displaced Jews as the main reference point for the construction of European and American identities today. While the chapter acknowledges that Muslims have emerged as an important touchstone in their own right, it concludes that the Jews—and now the Jewish state—continue to serve as an intermediary for self-reflection in the twenty-first century.

Keywords:   Jews, modernity, history of sociology, Orientalism, Occidentalism, Muslims

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