This talk is an analysis of Chinese knowledge and attitudes toward the Jews in the 20th century. Many Chinese people are fascinated by the Jews and how they survived, were revived, and have achieved so much in modern times despite their persecution throughout the ages. The image of the Jews in the Chinese mind serves as an “other,” which remains a mirror for the Chinese to judge or construct themselves and a model for them to learn about the path to modernization without losing their traditions.
About the Speaker: Xu Xin is professor in the Department of Philosophy and Department of Religious Studies and Director of the Institute of Jewish Studies at Nanjing University. He teaches courses on Jewish religion, history, Holocaust studies, American Jewish literature, Jewish Diaspora, and Western civilization. He is also President of the China Judaic Studies Association, Editor-in-Chief and a major contributor of the Chinese edition Encyclopedia Judaica. He is author of Legends of the Chinese Jews of Kaifeng (KTAV Publishing House), Anti-Semitism: How and Why (Shanghai Shanlian Books), The Jews of Kaifeng, China: History, Culture, and Religion (KTAV Publishing House) and A History of Jewish Culture (Peking UP).