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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

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

Moshe Rosman

Liverpool University Press

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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