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AI39 Anarcho-Judaism: its History, Philosophy, & Theology

In this course we will examine the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century nexus between traditional Jewish religion and a family of political ideologies collectively known as “anarchism.” To do so, we will first trace the evolution of anarchist thought in light of its relation to other movements on the left, devoting special attention to questions of religion, spirituality, and national identity as understood by major figures within these movements, framing both the ways in which religious engagement with anarchist ideas may have seemed (and may still seem) anomalous, and also the reasons why, in spite of this, certain thinkers on the margins of Jewish intellectual life may have felt justified in defying such expectations. We will then explore both major figures and the major themes they developed in articulating what I have dubbed “anarcho-Judaism.” In doing so, we will also consider intersections with other ideological trends including but not limited to Zionism, diaspora-nationalism, and pacifism.

Course Specifications
Type: Elective
Lesson type: Lecture
Hours: 28 (5 credits)
Requirement: essay
Instructor: TBA
Course Readings1
Rothman, PDF files (Ashkenazium, 2024)