Das Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften: VeranstaltungenDonnerstag, 13.01.2022, 11:00 Uhr
Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, Am Wingertsberg 4, 61348 Bad Homburg
Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften der Goethe-Universität
Abraham Rubin (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
»German-Jewish Modernity from Its Muslim Margins«
My talk will focus on two Central European Jews who converted to Islam in interwar Berlin and wrote prolifically about their new Muslim faith: Muhammad Asad (1900-1992) and Hugo Hamid Marcus (1880-1966). My paper argues that their divergent attitudes towards Islam were conditioned by their Jewish background and that their self-presentation drew on the same cultural patterns that Jews employed to modernize their collective identity and negotiate their place in the political context of early twentieth century Central Europe. My comparative reading of these two figures will showcase two approaches to conceptualizing their Jewishness and illustrating its relevance to the ways they understood Islam and perceived of themselves as Muslims. The idiosyncratic nature of their confessional choice notwithstanding, the two figures implicitly draw on distinctly Jewish narrative templates of modernization that situate their conversions within the broader social and cultural dynamics that shaped modern Jewish identity since the times of the emancipation.
Abraham Rubin received his PhD in Comparative Literature from the City University of New York. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Martin Buber Society of Fellows at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before coming to Jerusalem, he held postdoctoral positions at Lawrence University in Wisconsin and Goethe University, Frankfurt.
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