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How Jewish is Jewish History?$
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Moshe Rosman

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113348

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113348.001.0001

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Jewish History and Postmodernity: Challenge and Rapprochement

Jewish History and Postmodernity: Challenge and Rapprochement

Chapter:
(p.182) Conclusion Jewish History and Postmodernity: Challenge and Rapprochement
Source:
How Jewish is Jewish History?
Author(s):

Moshe Rosman

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113348.003.0009

This concluding chapter shows that it is possible to incorporate postmodern sensibilities and methods into researching and writing Jewish history while preserving — and even enhancing — the fundamental coherence of the subject and the basic integrity of traditional historiographical methodology. Research, evidence, close reading, rational enquiry, and the positivist assumptions that historical description really does have a referent, and that logic or empirical proof can confirm new knowledge, still are the touchstones of the historical endeavour. This positivism, however, is a reformed one. It is both critical, deconstructing sources and reading them ‘against the grain’ (that is, exposing alternative views of reality to those their authors intended to convey), and self-critical, being candid about perspectives and presumptions. It is self-conscious about its epistemological assumptions, its interpretative principles, its rhetorical strategies and devices, and its practitioner's metahistorical biases.

Keywords:   Jewish history, postmodernity, traditional historiographical methodology, positivism, postmodernism, postmodern methods

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