By Jacob Neusner; Ernest S. Frerichs; Nahum M. Sarna
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Additional info for From Ancient Israel to Modern Judaism: Intellect in Quest of Understanding, Volume I: Essays in Honor of Marvin Fox
Instead, the French Revolution and the general spread of enUghterunent were invested with messianic significance and the enfranchisement of Jews and other subjugated people - and, as many Jews hoped, new conquests of social justice by future revolutions - were interpreted as the true meaning of the longawaited Redemption. This radical revision of the traditional mythos served well enough as a rationalization for the inner circle of Jews who subscribed to it. It justified for themselves their continuing religious separation from their gentile fellow-citizens, with many of whom they shared in an overwhelming measure most other features of a common culture, including basic elements of a common, contemporary religious or areligious sensibility.
The basis for the distinction between histories of universal and those of merely local or p-^rochial interest was a certain peculiarity of the rise of Western European nationalism. The nation-state, as noted earlier, won its dominant aspects of culture and hegemony social control as well. ^Nathan Rotenstreich, The Recurring Modem Thought (New by a process that Church many other But the autonomy that the role in historiography expropriated from the universal York, 1963). of the Pattern: Studies in Anti-Judaism in History as a Jewish Problem secular nation-state rule that whatever From 9 won for itself was not simply an application of a was individual and distinctive deserved freedom.
Certainty on such matters disappeared under the impact of new knowledge and electives in the late nineteenth century. The subsequent collapse of structure and control in the course of study has invited the intrusion of programs of ephemeral knowledge developed without concern for the criteria of self-discovery, critical thinking, and exploration of values that were so long central to the baccalaureate years. The curriculum has given way to a marketplace philosophy: it is a supermarket where students are shoppers and professors merchants of learning.