11. Smith, Comparison and Jewish Theology

Thinking with J. Z. Smith - Mapping Methods in the Study of Religion - Barbara Krawcowicz

Barbara Krawcowicz [+-]
Jagiellonian University, Kraków
Barbara Krawcowicz is an assistant professor in the Institute for the Study of Religion, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland. Her most recent book is History, Metahistory, and Evil: Jewish Theological Responses to the Holocaust (Academic Studies Press 2020).


I use my recent comparative project in which I analyze a variety of Jewish theological responses to the Holocaust to discuss advantages and limitations of what I see as Smithian approach to comparative endeavors. While I would find it impossible to deny the importance of Smith’s critique of various comparative projects as well as what I take as his strong emphasis on scholar’s agency, I find it equally impossible to reconstruct something akin to a recipe for a successful comparison from Smith’s comments on the topic. To complete my project, I had discovered, I needed to reach for other, more systematic scholarly accounts of comparisons as well as other, literary and quite unexpected sources.

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Krawcowicz, Barbara. 11. Smith, Comparison and Jewish Theology. Thinking with J. Z. Smith - Mapping Methods in the Study of Religion. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Jul 2023. ISBN 9781781799840. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=39934. Date accessed: 03 Dec 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.39934. Jul 2023

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