Ancora sulla «questione ebraica»: riflessioni per un’epistemologia dell’antico Israele

Fabio Porzia


On the “Jewish question” again: Reflections for an epistemology of ancient Israel

Scholars dealing with ancient Israel or Jewish Studies in general tend to approach their subject through the notion of “identity”, searching for what makes Israel different from any other people instead of considering Israel as one people among others. This paper argues that the abuse of “identity”, typical of the “Jewish question” and still current in contemporary research, is the result of an anti-Semitic tradition. The way Theology and Philosophy coped with the Jewish people leads to an essentialist understanding: Theology granted Israel an eternal and immutable identity and replaced it with the “true Israel”, that is to say the Church, while Philosophy progressively eradicated Israel from History and from Being. In both cases the Jewish people is understood as out-dated and useless. Thus, our understanding of ancient Israel as an object of study is endangered by traditional and passively accepted opinions (dóxai) and is far from being a well-founded scientific knowledge (epistème).

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