Thursday, June 10, 2010

Michael Chabon on Jewish Exceptionalism in the NYT

Novelist Michael Chabon, in the New York Times, addresses the belief that Jews are either smarter than others or are chosen for an exceptional fate.


New York Times readers respond.


Letter writer Stuart Rojstaczer's point is indisputable: self-examination and self-criticism are a part of, not just the Jewish, but the Judeo-Christian tradition to an extent that they are not in other traditions. The Catholic ritual of confession has played a huge role in the development of Western civilization. There is no parallel in other great faith traditions. Non-Muslims often complain, for example, that moderate Muslims do not critique terrorists. That wait is in vain. Islam does not inculcate in its followers self-examination and self-criticism in anything like the ritualized confession and atonement to be found in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

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