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Orientalism and the Figure of the Jew$
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Jeffrey S. Librett

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823262915

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823262915.001.0001

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Orientalism as Typology, or How to Disavow the Modern Abyss

(p.1) Introduction
Orientalism and the Figure of the Jew

Jeffrey S. Librett

Fordham University Press

The Introduction shows, in general terms, how the modern West finds itself lacking absolute foundations and tries to fill in this void with the fetish of the Oriental origin. It explains further the Christian (Pauline) supersessionist model of Jewish-Christian relations and sketches the way in which, in general, this model was applied by nineteenth century historicist Orientalism to the understanding of Oriental-Occidental relations in order to construct (and justify) the Western appropriation of the Eastern origin. The Introduction discusses also the importance of Spinoza since the late eighteenth century as a figure for Oriental pantheism qua modern rationality. Finally, it sketches the book’s subsequent trajectory, and closes by indicating the limits of Edward Said’s historicism.

Keywords:   Orientalism, modernity, cuius regio, eius religio, typology, fetishism, panic, historicism, Spinoza, Edward Said

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