By Sander Gilman
During this strong and wide-ranging examine, Sander Gilman explores the assumption of 'the multicultural' within the modern global, a query he frames because the query of the connection among Jews and Muslims. How do Jews outline themselves, and the way are they in flip outlined, in the worldwide struggles of the instant, struggles that flip largely round a secularized Christian standpoint? Gilman makes use of his topic to unpack a series of vital matters: what does it suggest to be multicultural? Can the event of diaspora Judaism function an invaluable version for Islam in modern-day multicultural Europe? what's a multicultural ethnic? different chapters examine particular figures in Jewish cultural history – Albert Einstein, Franz Kafka, Israel Zangwill, Philip Roth, the hermaphrodite N.O. physique (aka Karl Baer, raised as Martha Baer) – to discover concerns inside of Jewish identification. all through, Gilman will pay willing awareness to the ways that modern literature – Chabon, Ozick, Zadie Smith, Jonathan Safran Foer, Gary Shteyngart – taking the belief of Jewishness and multiculturalism into new arenas.
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Additional resources for Multiculturalism and the Jews
The Jew knows that it does not pay to be drunk. ”39 As Jews enter more and more into the public sphere, the question of who is the drunk becomes contested. In Izak Goller’s 1931 Purim play, the king of the Persians, Ahasuerus, introduces himself with the following monologue: You can tell I’m a King of might, Drunk as a lord From morn till night! indb 36 6/1/06 11:04:26 AM Jews and the Culture of Decorum 37 And sent to Heaven! 40 Medicine too catches up. 41 They have become the epitome of “moderate, integrated, family based drinking,” as opposed to Protestants who, if they drank, were much more likely to become alcoholics than Jews.
As Olivier Roy has argued, one of the processes that happens is the creation of a virtual Ummah by believers that is deterritorialized. This is a form of empowerment that transcends national limits and ethnic identity and can take on “secular” form. For secular writers, this process is the hyperawareness of an “ethnic” identity merged with an assumption that such a multicultural identity is simultaneously that of the victim. The problem that this evokes in the denial of the contemporary experience of Jews in Germany does raise further questions, but for the moment let us focus on his claims.
Senoçak provides the reader with a novel about Germany after the Shoah that is also an account of the tribulations of modern Turks in that Germany. Senoçak, while born in Ankara in 1961, has lived in Germany since he was nine years old. He writes in German (needless to say) from a self-consciously and ironic multicultural perspective. To do so, he evokes the “Jewish” experience as “historical,” while the “Turkish” (but not necessarily Muslim) experience is contemporary. As Olivier Roy has argued, one of the processes that happens is the creation of a virtual Ummah by believers that is deterritorialized.
Multiculturalism and the Jews by Sander Gilman