Chapter

How Jewish was Leo Strauss?

in Reading Leo Strauss

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780226764023
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226763903 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226763903.003.0002
How Jewish was Leo Strauss?

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The author insists that the political problems faced by Jews are different from those faced by any other people. At the risk of arbitrariness, it is suggested that Jewish political thought is uniquely marked by a preoccupation with such themes as exile, homelessness, and marginality. The position of Jews in modern, enlightened, liberal society is the most tangible contemporary expression of the theologico-political problem. Strauss traces his own preoccupation with this problem back to his experiences as “a young Jew born and raised in Germany.” For him, this problem became a conflict between assimilation and eventual absorption in a universal humanity, or the assertion of a stubborn loyalty to a particular tradition. When the particular tradition in question claims divine or revealed origins, as Judaism does, this conflict is made all the more difficult.

Keywords: Leo Strauss; Jewish political thought; Germany; arbitrariness; exile

Chapter.  9106 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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