Jewish European Heritage in the Age of Diasporas
Zygmunt Bauman took us on a sweeping tour of the history of European Jews and their search for a place. He placed back the birth of Zionism in its context, at the peak of modern nation-state building zeal and imperialist expansion. He looked at past desperate Jewish efforts to assimilate and the negative responses they provoked. He compared them to assimilation today into what he calls "the liquid world of universal and fluid short-lived particularities, resigned to ambiguity", and concluded that "European Jews were cast by the drama of modern nation-building into the role of the pioneers of modern thought."
Zygmunt Bauman, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Leeds, is one of the most significant global social thinkers of our age. His work, spanning nearly five decades, steadfastly refuses to be constrained by arbitrary disciplinary boundaries within the arts, humanities and social sciences.
An extraordinarily productive scholar, his writings are relevant to sociology, but also to social and political theory, philosophy, ethics, art theory, media/communications studies, cultural studies, and theology. His work offers a reappraisal of fundamental concepts such as freedom, responsibility, morality, identity, community, security and uncertainty, love and intimacy, and welfare. His contributions to the challenge of 'rethinking global society' are as valuable as ever.
Jason Strelitz works in Public Health and Social Policy, focussing on child poverty and inequalities. He is author of Decent Childhoods: reframing the fight to end child poverty.