Jan Hus and the Prophets

Hillel J. Kieval

in Languages of Community

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780520214101
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520921160 | DOI:
Jan Hus and the Prophets

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter examines the movement among Czech-Jewish intellectuals to effect a religious reform that was inspired, to a large extent, by Czech philosophical currents. It notes that the most remarkable aspect of the Czech-Jewish religious reforms of the 1880s may have been their superficiality. It observes that the activists within the SČAŽ and Or-Tomid seem to have been content merely to tinker with the linguistic forms of public worship and ritual. It notes that once Judaism had acquired a “Czech face”, as it were, they considered their job to have been completed. It argues on the other hand, that the superficiality of early Czech-Jewish reform was born of optimism. It observes that Czech Jews saw nothing in the content of their religious culture that would stand in the way of their swift integration into modern Czech society.

Keywords: Czech-Jewish intellectuals; philosophical currents; religious reforms; superficiality; SČAŽ; Or-Tomid; Judaism

Chapter.  8913 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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