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The Other Jewish QuestionIdentifying the Jew and Making Sense of Modernity$
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Jay Geller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233618

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233618.001.0001

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Going to “Alimentary” School: Brotstudium, Ludwig Feuerbach, and the Dietetics of Antisemitism

Going to “Alimentary” School: Brotstudium, Ludwig Feuerbach, and the Dietetics of Antisemitism

(p.150) Chapter 5 Going to “Alimentary” School: Brotstudium, Ludwig Feuerbach, and the Dietetics of Antisemitism
The Other Jewish Question

Jay Geller

Fordham University Press

In her edition of Ludwig Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity, George Eliot mistranslated Feuerbach's reference to “Brotstudium,” by which he characterized theological study undertaken by Jews, as their “alimentary view” of theology. This chapter employs Eliot's mistranslation in order to lever open Feuerbach's construction of Judentum (Judaism) in his writings on religion and their Anglophone reception. It charts the differences of that construction in each edition of Feuerbach's most famous work. These and his later texts are placed in the context of notions of the Jewish stench (foetor Judaicus), of representations of Jewish food preferences and prohibitions, of ascriptions of Jewish misanthropy due to their apparent lack of commensality, of accusations of Jewish ritual blood consumption and ritual murder in contemporary press and scholarship, as well as of Feuerbach's subsequent diet-materialism (“You are what you eat”) and its privileging of eating, that is, of incorporation as the ruling principle of life.

Keywords:   blood libel, ritual murder, Christianity, George Eliot, Essence of Christianity, Ludwig Feuerbach, foetor judaicus, food, Judentum, Judaism, translation

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