Electronic book text
April 8, 2014
9781421413822
9781421413815
English
168
64019
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$26.95 USD, £20.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Hardback
April 21, 2014
9781421413815
9781421413822
English
168
64019
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
0.66 Inches (US)
.85 Pounds (US)
$26.95 USD, £20.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

A Chosen Calling

Jews in Science in the Twentieth Century

Scholars have struggled for decades to explain why Jews have succeeded extravagantly in modern science. A variety of controversial theories—from such intellects as C. P. Snow, Norbert Wiener, and Nathaniel Weyl—have been promoted. Snow hypothesized an evolved genetic predisposition to scientific success. Wiener suggested that the breeding habits of Jews sustained hereditary qualities conducive for learning. Economist and eugenicist Weyl attributed Jewish intellectual eminence to "seventeen centuries of breeding for scholars."

Rejecting the idea that Jews have done well in science because of uniquely Jewish traits, Jewish brains, and Jewish habits of mind, historian of science Noah J. Efron approaches the Jewish affinity for science through the geographic and cultural circumstances of Jews who were compelled to settle in new worlds in the early twentieth century.

Seeking relief from religious persecution, millions of Jews resettled in the United States, Palestine, and the Soviet Union, with large concentrations of settlers in New York, Tel Aviv, and Moscow. Science played a large role in the lives and livelihoods of these immigrants: it was a universal force that transcended the arbitrary Old World orders that had long ensured the exclusion of all but a few Jews from the seats of power, wealth, and public esteem. Although the three destinations were far apart geographically, the links among the communities were enduring and spirited. This shared experience—of facing the future in new worlds, both physical and conceptual—provided a generation of Jews with opportunities unlike any their parents and grandparents had known.

The tumultuous recent century of Jewish history, which saw both a methodical campaign to blot out Europe's Jews and the inexorable absorption of Western Jews into the societies in which they now live, is illuminated by the place of honor science held in Jewish imaginations. Science was central to their dreams of creating new worlds—welcoming worlds—for a persecuted people.

This provocative work will appeal to historians of science as well as scholars of religion, Jewish studies, and Zionism.

About the Author

Noah J. Efron teaches at Bar-Ilan University, where he was the founding chair of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society. He served as president of the Israel Society for the History and Philosophy of Science and on the Executive Committee of the International Society for Science and Religion.

Endorsement

Noah Efron's A Chosen Calling is a fresh and ambitious exploration of the enthusiasm with which Jews have celebrated science, and of the legendary distinction with which they have practiced science in three major domains... Efron shows that in all three cases, Jews brought to their novel circumstances a drive for full participation in a world where they had been denied that participation, and he shows, further, that the universalist ethos of science provided a uniquely powerful means of participating.

- David A. Hollinger, University of California, Berkeley

Reviews

An excellent book recommended for most libraries, especially those with strong holdings in science and Jewish history.

- Library Journal, Starred Review

A very interesting and enlightened take on why the Jewish people have excelled in the field of science during the 20th Century and still stand out today.

- John C - Book Bargains and Previews

By illuminating the importance of science and technology for disparate Jewish communities throughout the twentieth century, Noah Efron's A Chosen Calling: Jews in Science in the Twentieth Century raises a number of questions that are important for anyone engaged in the science and religion conversation to consider... Science and religion writers who put forward and critique various origins proposals could benefit from imitating Efron's humble, gracious, and fluid style, while scholars will appreciate the extensive endnotes and index.

- Stephen Contakes - Perspectives in Science and Christian Faith
Johns Hopkins University Press
Medicine, Science, and Religion in Historical Context
From 17

9781421413815 : a-chosen-calling-efron
Hardback
168 Pages
$26.95 USD
9781421413822 : a-chosen-calling-efron
Electronic book text
168 Pages
$26.95 USD

Other Titles from Medicine, Science, and Religion in Historical Context

Righting America at the Creation Museum

Susan L. Trollinger and William Vance Trollinger, Jr.
Apr 2016 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$26.95 USD - Hardback
$26.95 USD - Electronic book text

Creationism in Europe

edited by Stefaan Blancke, Hans Henrik Hjermitslev, and Peter C. Kjærgaard - foreword by Ronald L. Numbers
Dec 2014 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$39.95 USD - Hardback
$39.95 USD - Electronic book text

Dealing with Darwin

David N. Livingstone
Apr 2014 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$39.95 USD - Hardback
$39.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in SCIENCE / History

Moving Violations

Lee Vinsel
Jul 2019 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$64.95 USD - Hardback

After the Flood

Lydia Barnett
Jul 2019 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$49.95 USD - Hardback
$49.95 USD - Electronic book text

Engineering Rules

JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy
Jun 2019 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$64.95 USD - Hardback
$64.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in History of science

Moving Violations

Lee Vinsel
Jul 2019 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$64.95 USD - Hardback

After the Flood

Lydia Barnett
Jul 2019 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$49.95 USD - Hardback
$49.95 USD - Electronic book text

Engineering Rules

JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy
Jun 2019 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$64.95 USD - Hardback
$64.95 USD - Electronic book text