Imagining Jewish Authenticity

Imagining Jewish Authenticity : Vision and Text in American Jewish Thought

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Exploring how visual media presents claims to Jewish authenticity, Imagining Jewish Authenticity argues that Jews imagine themselves and their place within America by appealing to a graphic sensibility. Ken Koltun-Fromm traces how American Jewish thinkers capture Jewish authenticity, and lingering fears of inauthenticity, in and through visual discourse and opens up the subtle connections between visual expectations, cultural knowledge, racial belonging, embodied identity, and the ways images and texts work more

Product details

  • Paperback | 266 pages
  • 149.86 x 228.6 x 17.78mm | 430.91g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 44 b&w illus.
  • 025301574X
  • 9780253015747

Review quote

"Koltun-Fromm has written an important book, one that serves as a reminder not only of the value of boundaries and distinctions-particularly for minority groups-but also of the need for 'newrelations of justice'." -Modern Judaism "[T]his volume is not about traditionalist philosophical and theological underpinnings of the rabbinic covenant of learning Jewish authenticity but instead about creative Talmud Torahthat speaks of two minds: emotional and experiential. A compelling read. Recommended." -Choice "By turning his attention to how American Jewish thinkers appealed to visual metaphors to affirm Jewish authenticity, Ken Koltun-Fromm sheds new light on an important topic. This is, as far as I know, the first attempt to take the matter of visual discourse in the context of American Judaism seriously." -Elliot Wolfson, New York University "Sure to strike an immediate nerve and to be a springboard for lively scholarly and public discussions, especially as it tackles highly timely issues such as gender, conversion, and race." -Asher Biemann, University of Virginiashow more

About Ken Koltun-Fromm

Ken Koltun-Fromm is Professor of Religion at Haverford College. He is author of several books including Material Culture and Jewish Thought in America (IUP, 2010).show more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: Visual Authenticity in the American Jewish ImaginarySection I. The Anxiety of Authenticity in Image and Text1. Seeing Israel in Bernard Rosenblatt's Social Zionism2. Seeing Things in Abraham Joshua Heschel's The Sabbath3. Seeing Food in The Jewish Home Beautiful and Kosher by DesignSection II. The Embodied Language of Visual Authenticity4. The Language of Jewish Bodies in Michael Wyschogrod's The Body of Faith5. The Language of Gendered Bodies in Adler's Engendering Judaism6. The Language of Racial Bodies in Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz's The Colors of JewsConclusion: Imagining Jewish Authenticity in Every GenerationNotesBibliographyIndexshow more