Selma Stern Vortragsreihe in der Mendelssohn-Remise - Dr. Xun Zhou (Essex): Imagining Jews in Modern China
Vortrag und Gespräch. Moderation: Prof. Dr. Christina von Braun
In modern China, representations of ‘Jews’ and Judaism are very complex. Although such representations seem to correspond to anti-Semitic stereotypes in Europe, it would be superficial to reduce them to purely Western 'influence’. Representations of ‘Jews’ have been endowed with indigenous meanings by Chinese modernizing elites since the late nineteenth-century. In modern China the difference of ‘Jews’ has been marked by their ‘non-Chineseness’. By creating ‘Jews’ as a homogenous group, which acts as a constitutive 'outsider' that embodies all the negative as well as positive qualities, which were feared or desired by various social groups in China, the 'Chinese', viewed as a homogenous ‘in-group’, could thus project their own anxieties and fears onto the 'outsiders' like the ‘Jews’. In this respect, it corresponds to a widespread fear, as well as need of an ‘other’, which can be found in many cultures and societies.
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