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Israelites Among Us: Imagining Jews in Protestant America

This work argues that American Jewish identity cannot be understood apart from the context of the national religious culture, specifically the intense bibliocentrism that has characterized American Protestantism from its beginnings. Even as Jews have often been considered grievously misguided in their beliefs and practices, they have also been imbued by the Protestant gaze with a unique spiritual power, linked to their alleged connection to the “pure, heartfelt religion of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” My book traces the implications of this dual vision of the Jew through a range of cultural works by Jews as well as Christians — including poems in a “prophetic” mode, spiritual autobiographies, and Hollywood Biblical epics.