A provocative manifesto arguing for a new understanding of the Jews’ peoplehood
Today there are two seemingly mutually exclusive notions of what “the Jews” are: either a religion or a nation/ethnicity. The widespread conception is that the Jews were formerly either a religious community in exile or a nation based on Jewish ethnicity. The latter position is commonly known as “Zionism,” and all articulations of a political theory of Zionism are taken to be variations of that view.
In this provocative audiobook, based on his decades of study of the history of the Jews, Daniel Boyarin lays out the problematic aspects of this binary opposition and offers the outlines of a different—and very old—answer to the question of the identity of a diaspora nation. He aims to drive a wedge between the “nation” and the “state,” only very recently conjoined, and recover a robust sense of nationalism that does not involve sovereignty.