Beyond the Hermetically Sealed Self

By Mara Benjamin

Association for Jewish Studies (AJS), Fall 2011

It could be argued that the legacy of Enlightenment has proven most lasting in its indictment of subjugation, its equation of freedom with autonomy, and its coronation of the latter as the ideal achievement of the self. Nevertheless, the many and varied critiques of classical liberalism that have emerged across disciplines in recent decades - in feminist, critical, and postcolonial theory; in religious studies, theology, and psychoanalytic theory - have challenged the long reach of Enlightenment thought and politics on precisely this point. Boundedness, a more nuanced cognate of bondage, has attained increasingly greater currency as philosophers and cultural theorists recognize that the boundaries between self and other confound bedrock notions of the modern era. How can our notions of agency, desire, and will, reflect the complex ways in which individuals are shaped by their immediate surroundings and their broader social groups? Key words like relationality, interdependence, and network have surged in importance as scholars and others forage for new metaphors to describe our interconnected lives and modes of consciousness.

Topic: Feminism, Judaic Studies, Jewish Studies, Religion

Name of Publication: AJS Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies

Editor: Bunzl, Matti , Havrelock, Rachel

Volume/Issue: Fall 2011

Page Number(s): 24-25

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Genre: Article

Coverage: United States

Identifier: ISSN 1529-6423

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Benjamin, Mara. Beyond the Hermetically Sealed Self. AJS Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies. Association for Jewish Studies (AJS). Fall 2011: 24-25.


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