Mother-Tongue and Father-Land. Jewish Perspectives on Language and Identity

Azimuth 18/2021 | Mother-Tongue And Father-Land. Jewish Perspectives On Language And Identity

Edited by Libera Pisano
ISSN (paper): 2282-4863
ISBN (paper): 978-88-5529-286-3
ISBN (e-book): 978-88-5529-284-9

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The term “diaspora” is situated in a field of tension between identities and otherness, stability and migration. Today, exile still represents a political and philosophical challenge to the local needs of the nation-state, which must define its borders in order to exercise control. Galut, exile or movement, belongs to the Jewish tradition, not only from a historical but also from a theological perspective. In this issue, the connection between homeland, identity and mother-tongue will be analyzed within the framework of 20th-century Jewish thought, namely through the reflections of relevant thinkers such as Franz Rosenzweig, Margarete Susman, Hannah Arendt, Elias Canetti, Jacques Derrida, Vilem Flusser, Paul Celan, and Edmond Jabes. In the Jewish tradition, language becomes a substitute for the lost homeland, the missing mother, and the homeland. By contrast to belonging to a concrete country, the homeland in this case mainly consists of a body of texts, a language, and a cultural tradition. Thus, we are concerned here with an abstract heritage that is not connected with any territorial delimitation.

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