”liksom Cato om Cartagos murar”: Erfarenhet och förväntan i Samfundet I.I: Judiska Intresset 1841–1875
Sammanfattning: This thesis examines the secret Samfundet I.I: Judiska Intresset (Society I.I: the Jewish Cause) which was founded in 1841 in Stockholm and opened a chapter in Gothenburg the same year. Its goal was to fight for emancipation and against anti-Judaism. Concepts such as “Jew” and “Swede of the Mosaic faith” were part of this struggle and are examined in this thesis. The methods applied are contextualisation, text analysis, and mapping the members as well as their network and strategies. Reinhart Koselleck’s concepts of ‘Space of experience’ and ‘Horizon of expectation’ is applied to both the concepts and the Society. Antonina Kloskowska’s ‘bivalence’ and ‘polyvalence’ are added to Zygmunt Bauman’s theories about ‘the conceptual Jew’ and ‘ambivalence’ which opens for a wider understanding. The findings of this thesis present that the Jewish Cause can be linked to other advocates of emancipation in Europe, such as Gabriel Riesser, who was elected to be an honorary member of the Society. Their main strategies were networking, writing articles and interacting with people of power. The members of the Society had polyvalent identities – they considered themselves both fully Jewish and fully Swedish – but had an ambivalent relation to the rest of the society, mainly due to the antiJewish sentiment of the Swedish public. This also explains the reluctance towards using the term ‘Jew’ to define themselves in public, preferring the term ‘Swede of the Mosaic faith’. However, this was not the case in their own meetings, and they had no issues with calling themselves ‘Jew’ amongst coreligionists. The Society’s Space of experience was mainly compiled by their accumulated knowledge of other struggles for equal rights in the rest of Europe, but also Jewish history. Their Horizon of expectation was Sweden with freedom of religion, a place where one’s rights did not depend on one’s religious affiliation. I claim that their struggle was a part of the dismantling of the theocratic structure of Sweden and that Samfundet I.I contributed to the liberalization of the Swedish society.
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