The Fusion of Zionism and Science: The First Two Decades—And the Present Day?
A coffee and tea reception will be offered from 2pm.
Focusing on the relationship between Zionism and science in the first two decades of the Zionist movement, the argument of this paper is threefold. First, that a relationship was established with the very inception of the Zionist movement. Second, it is characterized by a duality, a tension between a highly pragmatic scientific attitude, on the one hand, namely science conceived as ‘engineering,’ as the principal instrument of national construction, and simultaneously, on the other hand, science understood as working with the most fragile and inaccessible ‘materials’ or ‘building blocks.’ I will suggest that the Zionist movement was characterized by the quintessential place of programmatic and detailed planning and of striving towards pragmatically defined goals; at the same time, however, Zionism’s ultimate goal, idealistic, utopian, and always just out of reach, remained unstated. While focusing on the first two decades of the Zionist movement, I suggest, thirdly, that because this intellectual structure was embedded in the socialization processes of Zionism from its very earliest phase, it remains critically important, in spite of the many additional historical events that followed, for the understanding of key facets of Jewish, and later Israeli, society to this day.
Date: 7 February 2023, 14:15 (Tuesday, 4th week, Hilary 2023)
Venue: St Anne's College, Woodstock Road OX2 6HS
Venue Details: Seminar Room 1
Speaker: Professor Amos Morris- Reich (Tel Aviv)
Organisers: Alissa Symon, Professor Yaacov Yadgar
Part of: Israel Studies Seminar
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Members of the University only
Editors: Helen Morley, Rebecca Freeman, Joby Mullens, Daniel Burton