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The Rhetoric of Chosenness and the Fabrication of American Jewish Identity

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Publication Date: January 1990

Publisher(s): Transaction Publishers

Author(s): Arnold Eisen

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: American Jews; Jewish culture

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The author sketches the various interpretations of choseness offered by American Jewish thinkers in the past fifty years. Several ways in which the rhetoric of choseness has affected and shaped the fabrication of American Jewish identity in this period are noted. The article concludes by considering the intrinsic connotations and resonances that helped the image of 'chosen people' to perform the task assigned it in the face of considerable obstacles.