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Ageing and Modern Jewish Writing and Thought

Chapter

Abstract

This chapter analyses how modern Jewish thinkers and writers pay attention to the more uncomfortable or darker aspects of our life which tend to get ignored in the redemptive narratives with which we are familiar from Christian and, in its secular form, humanist philosophies. Perfection here gives way to frailty, progress to the potential of regression – or in Freud’s famous psychoanalytical case studies, repression – and light to darkness. Franz Rosenzweig, one of the most important modern Jewish thinkers, famously understood his Jewishness, as his ‘dark drive’. Ageing is a dark topic, because it involves a deterioration of our health and our capacities. Modern Jewish writing and thought pays attention to dark topics which traditional humanist and Christian philosophies tend to marginalize or neglect.

Keywords

Philosophical Tradition Binary Opposition Christian Philosophy Perpetual Motion Machine Humanist Philosophy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgement

I am most grateful to Geoffrey Scarre for his most detailed comments which helped to improve the quality of this chapter.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English StudiesDurham UniversityDurhamUK

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