Jew, Nomad or Pariah
Studies on Hannah Arendt's choice

Hans Derks

The political philosopher Hannah Arendt is well known as a student of state terrorism, the police state, Zionism, or the use of the Holocaust as state propaganda. However, she also defined along with Max Weber the ‘Jew as pariah’ at the time Theodor Adorno situated ‘Jews as Secret Gypsies’ in world history. In his new book, therefore, the historian and sociologist Hans Derks presents the main aspects of a ‘Jewish Question’ in combination with a ‘Nomadic Question’, guided by the works of Hannah Arendt.

Hans Derks uncovers Hannah Arendt’s secret agenda, her ‘nomadic choice’, an interesting alternative for all those who still persist in viewing ‘Jews as pariahs’ or who are degraded as pariahs in society even today. Derks starts by discussing Max Weber’s anti-Semitic (historical) writings about nomads and biblical Judaism. Analyses of ‘Guest’ positions and ‘Ghetto’ situations of Jews and nomads are given next, followed by historic-sociological essays about Jews in the elite of society and the many faces of perpetrator-victim relations in Holocaust and Shoah. Thanks to this Jew/Nomad perspective, Derks was able to come up with new insights for all these subjects. Finally, the present impact of the Jewish-Nomadic Question and of Hannah Arendt’s ‘nomadic choice’ in Europe, USA or Israel is covered: the well-known ‘Who is a Jew’ question can be answered now, and the workings of social or cultural exclusion and discrimination can be analysed through the works of Alan Bloom or the novelist Harry Mulisch, with whom Hannah Arendt cooperated during the Eichmann trial. From the start Derks describes increasingly tighter circles around the plot of the study, which follows at the end: the disclosure of Hannah Arendt’s ‘nomadic choice’ and its view on a future liberation of the pariahs.

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Jew, Nomad or Pariah

Jew, Nomad or Pariah
Studies on Hannah Arendt's choice

Hans Derks

 

nov 2004, Aksant
ISBN: 9789052601571
328 pagina's, Paperback