Research focus – University of Copenhagen

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Research Focus

Daniel Libeskind, Jüdisches Museum Berlin. Photo by Thomas Bruns (

The aim of the Center for the Study of Jewish Thought in Modern Culture (CJMC) is to create an academic home at the University of Copenhagen for the discussion of three focal areas which are particularly prominent in Jewish thought, but which also have a much broader significance.

More specifically, research at the center addresses questions aggravated by the Shoah. For instance: How do individuals and societies remember and pass on their experience of tragedy? How can they cope with the roles of victim, perpetrator, or bystander? How can the burden of a genocidal past be borne practically and reflected critically? These complex questions have ethical, social, political, and religious dimensions. They concern personal identity as well as human co-existence.

We explore Jewish (re)sources, particularly from the 19th to the 21st century, in order to clarify how this heritage can shed light on universal problems of re-orientation in the aftermath of historical and cultural catastrophes. The center has a triple research focus on (1) philosophy of language and post-Holocaust hermeneutics, (2) trauma, witnessing, and the mediation of memory, and (3) the problem of evil and images of (in)humanity.