Inventing New Beginnings: On the Idea of Renaissance in Modern Judaism (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and C)

Inventing New Beginnings is the first book-length study to examine the conceptual underpinnings of the "Jewish Renaissance," or "return" to Judaism, that captured much of German-speaking Jewry between 1890 and 1938. The book addresses two very fundamental, yet hitherto strangely understated, questions: What did the term "renaissance" actually mean to the intellectuals and ideologues of the "Jewish Renaissance," and how did this understanding relate to wider currents in European intellectual and cultural history of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? It also addresses the larger question of how we can contemplate "renaissance" as a mode of thought that is conditioned by the consciousness and experience of modernity and that extends to our present time.