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Book: Thinking with J. Z. Smith

Chapter: 11. Smith, Comparison, and Jewish Theology

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.39934


I use my recent comparative project in which I analyze a variety of Jewish theological responses to the Holocaust to discuss advantages and limitations of what I see as Smithian approach to comparative endeavors. While I would find it impossible to deny the importance of Smith’s critique of various comparative projects as well as what I take as his strong emphasis on scholar’s agency, I find it equally impossible to reconstruct something akin to a recipe for a successful comparison from Smith’s comments on the topic. To complete my project, I had discovered, I needed to reach for other, more systematic scholarly accounts of comparisons as well as other, literary and quite unexpected sources.

Chapter Contributors

  • Barbara Krawcowicz ([email protected] - bkrawcowicz1) 'Norwegian University of Science and Technology'