In Russian Idea—Jewish Presence, Professor Brian Horowitz follows the career tracks of Jewish intellectuals who, having fallen in love with Russian culture, were unceremoniously repulsed. Horowitz relays the paradoxes of a synthetic Jewish and Russian self-consciousness in order to correct critics who have always considered Russians and Jews as polar opposites, enemies, and incompatible. In fact, the best Russian-Jewish intellectuals—Semyon Dubnov, Boris Eikhenbuam, Maxim Vinaver, Mikhail Gershenzon, and a number of Zionist writers and thinkers—were actually inspired by Russian culture and attempted to develop a sui generis Jewish creativity in three languages on Russian soil.
Brian Horowitz, the well-known scholar of Russian Jewry, argues that Jews were not a people apart but were culturally integrated in Russian society. The book lets us grasp the meaning of secular Judaism and gives models from the past in order to stimulate ideas for the present.
The Oxford Handbook of Russian Religious Thought is an authoritative new reference and interpretive volume detailing the origins, development, and influence of one of the richest aspects of Russian cultural and intellectual life - its religious ideas. After setting the historical background and context, the Handbook follows the leading figures and movements in modern Russian religious thought through a period of immense historical upheavals, including seventy years of officially atheist communist rule and the growth of an exiled diaspora with, e.g., its journal The Way. Therefore the shape of Russian religious thought cannot be separated from long-running debates with nihilism and atheism. Important thinkers such as Losev and Bakhtin had to guard their words in an environment of religious persecution, whilst some views were shaped by prison experiences. Before the Soviet period, Russian national identity was closely linked with religion - linkages which again are being forged in the new Russia. Relevant in this connection are complex relationships with Judaism. In addition to religious thinkers such as Philaret, Chaadaev, Khomiakov, Kireevsky, Soloviev, Florensky, Bulgakov, Berdyaev, Shestov, Frank, Karsavin, and Alexander Men, the Handbook also looks at the role of religion in aesthetics, music, poetry, art, film, and the novelists Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. Ideas, institutions, and movements discussed include the Church academies, Slavophilism and Westernism, theosis, the name-glorifying (imiaslavie) controversy, the God-seekers and God-builders, Russian religious idealism and liberalism, and the Neopatristic school. Occultism is considered, as is the role of tradition and the influence of Russian religious thought in the West.
This scholarly biography focuses on the early years of the influential Russian Jewish author and pioneer of Revisionist Zionism. In the first decades of the twentieth century, Russia was a place of intense social strife and political struggle. Vladimir Yevgenyevich “Ze’ev” Jabotinsky, who would go on to become the founder of the Revisionist Zionism Alliance in 1925, was already a Zionist leader and Jewish public intellectual. Although previously glossed over, these early years were crucial to Jabotinsky’s development as a thinker, politician, and Zionist. In this enlightening biography, Brian Horowitz focuses on Jabotinsky’s commitments to Zionism and Palestine as he embraced radicalism and fought against the suffering brought upon Jews through pogroms, poverty, and victimization. Horowitz also defends Jabotinsky against accusations that he was too ambitious, a fascist, and a militarist. As Horowitz delves into the years that shaped Jabotinsky’s social, political, and cultural orientation, an intriguing psychological portrait emerges.
Vladimir Jabotinsky is well remembered as a militant leader and father of the right-wing Revisionist Zionist movement, but he was also a Russian-Jewish intellectual, talented fiction writer, journalist, playwright, and translator of poetry into Russian and Hebrew. His autobiography, Sippur yamai, Story of My Life—written in Hebrew and published in Tel Aviv in 1936—gives a more nuanced picture of Jabotinsky than his popular image, but it was never published in English. In Vladimir Jabotinsky’s Story of My Life, editors Brian Horowitz and Leonid Katsis present this much-needed translation for the first time, based on a rough draft of an English version that was discovered in Jabotinsky’s archive at the Jabotinsky Institute in Tel Aviv. Jabotinsky’s volume mixes true events with myth as he offers a portrait of himself from his birth in 1880 until just after the outbreak of World War I. He describes his personal development during childhood and early adult years in Odessa, Rome, St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Istanbul, during Russia’s Silver Age, a period known for spiritual searching, but also political violence, radicalism, and pogroms. He tells of his escape to Rome as a youth, his return to Odessa, and his eventual adoption of Zionism. He also depicts struggles with rivals and colleagues in both politics and journalism. The editors introduce the full text of the autobiography by discussing Jabotinsky’s life, legacy, and writings in depth. As Jabotinsky is gaining a reputation for the quality of his fictional and semi-fictional writing in the field of Israel studies, this autobiography will help reading groups and students of Zionism, Jewish history, and political studies to gain a more complete picture of this famous leader.