Beyond Auschwitz

Michael L. Morgan

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9780195148626
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199870011 | DOI:

Series: Oral History

Beyond Auschwitz

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Auschwitz is the center of the twentieth century, its dark core, yet, in the postwar years in America few intellectuals dared to come to grips with the horror and the suffering. Jewish theologians too were slow to respond until, in the turbulent years of the sixties and beyond, a small number of Jewish thinkers came to realize that the survival of Judaism and continued Jewish life require first and foremost confronting Auschwitz; looking into the abyss had become unavoidable. In this book, Michael Morgan tells the story of these theologians, and offers the first comprehensive overview of post‐Holocaust Jewish theology. He gives an account of the encounter with the death camps in the postwar writings of figures such as Hannah Arendt, Elie Wiesel, and Primo Levi and describes the role of the Six Day War in 1967 on the development and reception of post‐Holocaust Jewish thought. In chapters on each of the central thinkers (Richard Rubinstein, Eliezer Berkovits, Irving Greenberg, Arthur Cohen, and Emil Fackenheim), he analyzes the way they have struggled with the dialectic of history and identity, and with the threat of radical rupture. Throughout the book, the intellectual developments are set in their historical context and there are chapters on the reception of post‐Holocaust Jewish thought and its legacy for today. This is a book of philosophical and theological analysis as well as a work of intellectual history and will interest a wide spectrum of readers.

Keywords: American theologians; Arthur Cohen; Auschwitz; Eliezer Berkovits; Emil Fackenheim; history; Holocaust; Irving Greenberg; Jewish history; Jewish theologians; Jewish theology; Judaism; Richard Rubinstein

Book.  300 pages. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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Introduction in Beyond Auschwitz


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