Yonathan Listik is a lecturer at Leiden University teaching courses on Decolonial Theory and Critical Political Theory. His current field of research is philosophy, more specifically, exploring contemporary political ontology in the continental tradition. He is also interested in the connections between jewish philosophy, decolonial theory and aesthetics. His main interests are possible articulations of the idea of barbarism.
Read Yonathan's paper 'Judeo-Christianity, Jewish Barbarism and the Necessity to
Thema 3 - Sociaal activisme en maatschappij / Social activism and society
The necessity to decolonize Jewishness (EN)
A central part of what is considered politically hegemonic results from civilizatory and colonial projects outside Europe. In this context, the figure of the Jew has an ambivalent position. On the one hand, it is a central figure of the so-called Judeo-Christian civilization. On the other hand, the Jews are more often appearing as the victims of this project than its perpetrators hence making the notion of Judeo-Christianity the fruit of antisemitism. I will argue that Memmi, Boyarin and Slabodsky present an interesting approach to this dilemma while exploring the way Jewish identity could serve as a counter-hegemonic political position. I will construct this thesis by investigating several contemporary cases where Jewishness is entangled with Judeo-Christianity. The argument resists but does not oppose the idea that one finds a shift in Jewish positionality within modernity as a Judeo-Christian project: it accepts the shift and recognizes the new position that Jewishness plays but it resists the conclusions that are often drawn from this situation. The argument here will employ the thesis that diasporic Jewishness should be viewed as a form of colonial identity and hence be the object of decolonization. I will show that if integration into hegemony was expected to grant the colonized a new status, the argument will maintain that this is not the case for Jewishness as the issues (i.e., antisemitism) persist despite a reasonably successful integration. In this sense, the thesis here will show that the decolonization of Jewishness remains necessary.