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Feuchtwanger and Judaism

History, Imagination, Exile


Edited By Paul Lerner and Frank Stern

This collection of essays is devoted to the Jewish themes that ran through Lion Feuchtwanger’s life, works and worlds. Beginning with a selection of Feuchtwanger’s unpublished writings, speeches, and interviews, the volume examines the author’s approaches to Jewish history, Zionism, Judaism’s relationship to early Christianity and to eastern religions, and Jewish identity through his works, above all his historical fiction. Essays also trace translations of his works into English and Russian, and the meaning of his writing for various communities of Jewish and non-Jewish readers in Britain, North America, and the Soviet Union. A final section frames the issues around Feuchtwanger and Jewishness more broadly by considering the condition of exile and expanding the focus to communities of émigré writers and political figures in North America and beyond.
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3 Frühes Christentum in Lion Feuchtwangers Josephus-Trilogie (Detlef Blasche)


Detlef Blasche

3 Frühes Christentum in Lion Feuchtwangers Josephus-Trilogie


The life and works of the Roman-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus stand at the center of Lion Feuchtwanger’s Josephus trilogy. Josephus’ works, which served as a model for the historical novel, are considered one of the main sources for Jewish historical accounts of the first century. The representation of Christianity and Christian doctrine are closely oriented around New Testament texts. Feuchtwanger works through the theory that the exclusion from the synagogue and John’s anti-Judaism were a consequence of proceedings of the Yavne Council. The destruction of the Second Temple (70 bce) was reported by Josephus in detail. Feuchtwanger allows his protagonists to discuss the different interpretations of it in Judaism and Christianity. The testimony of Flavius and the notes on John the Baptist from Josephus’ Antiquities are not included in his narrative; instead he attributes the references to the Essenes, the Jesus narratives of the Evangelists, to two people, whose trials and death sentences were intertwined. In addition, he interprets Jacob, whose stoning is reported in Josephus’ Antiquities, as one of the historical models.1

Feuchtwangers Zeit und jüdische Herkunft

Jüdisches Leben im wilhelminischen Deutschland war geprägt durch ein Nebeneinander von weit verbreiteter Orthodoxie und dem beginnenden, liberalen Judentum. Als Vater der jüdischen Aufklärung (Haskala) gilt←59 | 60→ Moses Mendelssohn (1729–86), auch wenn die Anfänge weiter zurückreichen. Zunächst gewachsen aus der j...

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