Reflections on Identity: The Jewish Case

Reflections on Identity: The Jewish Case


Avi Sagi

Series: Emunot: Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah
ISBN: 9781618115348 (hardcover)
Pages: approx. 270 pp.
Publication Date: November 2016


This book deals with the meaning of identity in general and Jewish identity in particular. Different notions of Jewish identity have been formulated in the history of Jewish thought, many of them supporting a rigid and one-sided view of it. Relying on a cultural historical analysis of various theoretical and empirical dimensions of this concept, the book shows that the term Jewish identity denotes a field covering a broad range of options for Jewish existence. Common to all is the affirmation of Jewish identity, but not necessarily one single approach as the sole possible course of Jewish life.

Professor Avi Sagi teaches philosophy at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, where he is also the founding director of a Graduate Program on Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies. He is also a faculty member at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. He has published extensively on continental philosophy, philosophy of religion and ethics, and Jewish philosophy.  

Table of Contents


Part One

1. From an Essentialist to a Multicultural Identity
2. A Critique of the Jewish Identity Discourse
3. Primordial Identity: The Jewish Case

Part Two

4. Between a Rights Discourse and an Identity Discourse
5. “Religion and State”: A Critical Analysis
6. On Exile, Strangers, and Sovereignty: Identity in the Biblical Tradition