Hellenes, Nazarenes, and Other Jews: Heine the Fool

Willi Goetschel

in The Discipline of Philosophy and the Invention of Modern Jewish Thought

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780823244966
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:
Hellenes, Nazarenes, and Other Jews: Heine the Fool

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This chapter examines the role of Heinrich Heine in the project of rethinking the problem of the distinction between Hellenes and Nazarenes, Greeks and Jews, and, as a consequence, between philosophy and Jewish philosophy. It explains that Heine traced the origins of philosophy to the Bible's King Solomon and challenged the unquestioned exemplarity of Greek culture as a paradigm for modernity by reimagining the origins of philosophy and poetry in Jewish tradition. This chapter also considers the views of Matthew Arnold and Friedrich Nietzsche about the typological distinction between the Hellene and the Hebrew.

Keywords: Heinrich Heine; Hellenes; Nazarenes; Greeks; Jews; Jewish philosophy; King Solomon; Greek culture; Matthew Arnold; Friedrich Nietzsche

Chapter.  7432 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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