Nordisk Judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies <p><em>Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies</em> aims at promoting Jewish studies in Scandinavia by publishing scholarly articles, surveys and documents, by reviewing recent literature, and compiling bibliographies.</p> The Donner Institute en-US Nordisk Judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies 0348-1646 <p>The license of the published metadata is Creative Commons CCO 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)</p> The problem of evil and images of (in)humanity <p>Editorial for&nbsp;issue 29(1) of Scandinavian Jewish Studies, 'The Problem of Evil and Images of (In)Humanity'.</p> Cathrine Bjørnholt Michaelsen Claudia Welz ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-05-29 2018-05-29 29 1 1–2 1–2 10.30752/nj.70600 Picturing vision <p class="p1">Kant taught us to think of the faculty of imagination as an ingredient of perception. Vision, thus, is not only opened to the present but also to the absent, for instance through expectations or memories. Our ways of seeing are literally formed by normative presumptions and culturally predetermined ideas. This makes visual perception a sort of an image-making activity in the context of a practice. It is the practice that regulates what can be perceived in which way or what is overlooked. As an activity it is neither solely a pure construction of individual viewpoints, nor a pure representation of the physically present world. Rather, it is the result of the reciprocal tension between the perceiver and the perceived.</p> Eva Schürmann ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-05-29 2018-05-29 29 1 3–13 3–13 10.30752/nj.68959 When the earth moves under your feet <p class="p1">This article explores the overcoming of evil in the biblical Book of Psalms, taking as its point of departure the so-called ‘sudden change of mood’ in the individual psalms of lamentation, where a psalmist proceeds from complaint to grateful praise with no obvious explanation. Previous and more recent attempts at explanation are introduced, one of them the work of Jakob Wöhrle, pointing out that lament and praise correspond to two separate aspects of God, as ‘hidden’ and ‘saving’ respectively. It is suggested that these aspects should not be seen as equally fundamental: applying insights from Jon D. Levenson and Hans J. Lundager Jensen, it is argued that the psalmist’s transition from despair to contentment reflects the assumption that evil is an external threat to the created order, not an aspect of the creator himself. This is further illustrated by the metaphorical use of the word <em>mot</em>, ‘to stagger’, in the Book of Psalms.</p> Søren Holst ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-05-29 2018-05-29 29 1 14–24 14–24 10.30752/nj.67675 Verbal images of evil and (in)humanity during and after the Holocaust <p class="p1">In this paper, I explore images of evil and (in)humanity in the works of Primo Levi and Charlotte Delbo – verbal images that they encountered within Auschwitz and those that they created afterwards to try to bear witness to what happened there. Verbal images played a crucial role for Levi and Delbo in their efforts both to maintain a sense of their own humanity during their time in the concentration camp and to depict the extent to which inmates’ humanity was diminished and degraded by the Nazis. Thus, verbal images helped them both to maintain a sense of their own humanity and to depict the effort to destroy it. This dual role of verbal images found in their testimonies suggests that there is an intimate relationship between evil, images, and (in)humanity during and after the Holocaust – one that we would do well to consider.&nbsp;</p> Jennifer Geddes ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-05-29 2018-05-29 29 1 25–38 25–38 10.30752/nj.69035 Can evil create? <p class="p1">In this article, I look at the phenomenological expression of creativity through language as a way of relating to the self and others. Employing the Jewish concepts of the <em>yetzerim</em>, or impulses, philosophically, I suggest that these instances of existential engagement further develop the ethical act of <em>tikkun olam</em>, or the mending of the relational world. Moving beyond theodicies of good and evil, I will develop this account of relation by drawing on Emmanuel Lévinas’s and Søren Kierkegaard’s philosophy of subjectivity. I argue, therefore, that language can express particular accounts of relationality that can serve to clarify the ambiguous relationship between good and evil.</p> Anna Westin ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-05-29 2018-05-29 29 1 39–48 39–48 10.30752/nj.68861 'Saints without God' <p class="p1">This article addresses Camus’s response to Christianity and the problem of suffering in the context of the early twentieth century. Owing to his association with the existentialist movement, it is often assumed that Camus, like many other French intellectuals of the period, rejected Christianity altogether. For this reason, his sympathy with Christian thought is overlooked, and it seems altogether bizarre that some theologians even claimed Camus to be a convert. Among these wildly conflicting claims, Camus’s philosophical response to Christianity has become somewhat muddied; in this article I attempt to rectify this. I argue that Camus’s entire philosophy is underpinned by his response to Christianity, and that he wanted to re-establish the position of morality in the face of the problem of suffering. I thus demonstrate how his writings manifest this struggle to achieve this goal, in what I refer to as Camus’s ‘poetics of secular faith’. Camus once claimed, ‘I do not believe in God <em>and </em>I am not an atheist’. This article aims to elucidate just what is meant by a statement like this, as well as to catalogue and analyse Camus’s innovative attempts at reconciling spirituality and suffering through philosophical literature.</p> Grace Whistler ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-05-29 2018-05-29 29 1 49–61 49–61 10.30752/nj.68791 Facing the problem of evil <p class="p1">This article explores<span class="s1"> imagination as a means of ethical re-orientation</span> in the aftermath of atrocity. The discussion of the problem of evil is based on Hannah Arendt’s critique of Kant and her notion of ‘rootless’ rather than ‘radical’ evil. On this basis, <span class="s1">the orienting potential of <em>visual</em> images </span>is investi­gated with regard to images of violence in the media on the one hand, and, on the other, with regard to Michelangelo’s <em>Creation of Adam</em>. Then the role of <em>verbal</em> and <em>mental </em>images of humanity or inhumanity is discussed with reference to the Holocaust survivor Jorge Semprun’s testimony in his book <em>Literature or Life. </em>Finally, the biblical motif of the human being created in the image of an invisible God, the <em>imago Dei</em>, comes into view as an exemplary image of humanity that appears in a framework of interpretation where the invisible is mediated with the help of verbal, visual and/or mental images.</p> Claudia Welz ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-05-29 2018-05-29 29 1 62–78 62–78 10.30752/nj.70176 Bildrik populärvetenskap om dansk-judisk historia <p>Recension av Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke, Signe Bergman Larsen, Janne Laursen, Martin Schwarz Lausten, Hanne Trautner-Kromann, <em>En indvandringshistorie. </em><em>J</em><em>ø</em><em>der i Danmark 400 år </em>(Dansk Jødisk Museum 2018). Engelsk version: <em>A Story of Immigration. </em><em>Four Hundred Years of Jews in Denmark</em>. Translation: Virginia Laursen and Fran Hopenwasser (The Danish Jewish Museum 2018).</p> Carl Henrik Carlsson ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-05-29 2018-05-29 29 1 79–82 79–82 10.30752/nj.70259