SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Evri, Yuval and Behar, Almog (2017) 'Between East and West: controversies over the modernization of Hebrew culture in the works of Shaul Abdallah Yosef and Ariel Bension.' Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, 16 (2). pp. 295-311.

Full text not available from this repository.


A tendency exists in Jewish historiography to associate Jewish modernization and Hebrew renaissance with Europe and Western culture. Europeanization and Westernization are emphasized as the focal points for Jewish cultural transformation. We take a different approach by shedding light on a number of centres where modern Jewish and Hebrew culture was created. This approach allows us to expand the perspective beyond the Eurocentric prism and instead emphasize movement – of people, knowledge, goods and capital – in real or symbolic spaces as key drivers for processes of transformation. We accordingly examine different pathways to the renewal of Hebrew and Jewish cultures at the turn of the twentieth century. We re-asses the research and literary work of Shaul Abdallah Yosef (1849–1906) and Ariel Bension (1880–1933) and their contesting interpretations of the modernization of Hebrew culture. Driven by both real and symbolic return to the “East,” the two formulated different political and cultural models for the modernization of Jewish and Hebrew culture. By doing so they challenged mainstream trends concerning modern European Jewish discourse that prevailed during the nineteenth century in the work of the Wissenschaft des Judentums (science of Judaism) movement, in Europe’s Hebrew Haskalah circles and later on in Palestine/Land of Israel.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: School Research Centres > Centre for Jewish Studies
ISSN: 14725886
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2018 18:47

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item