The Unique Case of Jewish Secularism
Professor Charmian Brinson, Felix Posen
The peculiar fusion of religion and nationalism in pre-modern Judaism has had a unique impact on contemporary Jewish secularism. For many centuries one could not distinguish between the Jewish people and the Jewish religion. Belonging to one implied belonging to the other and the mere distinction between the two is a modern re-interpretation of Judaism. As a result, unlike secularists elsewhere the Jewish secularist cannot follow a clear-cut secularist tradition and has to create his own language, life’s style and thought with materials that exist in his own culture but necessarily also with inspirations that come from elsewhere.
Felix Posen is the founding chairman of the Posen Foundation which focuses on two main subjects – Antisemitism via the Center for the study of Antisemitism at Hebrew University since 1982 as well as developing programs at universities and schools and encouraging the development of literature in the field of Jewish Secularism.