With this twelfth installment Quest offers its readers a miscellaneous issue. It is the second time we choose to publish in the Focus section a series of articles not tied together by a unifying theme, the first time was with issue n. 7 in July 2014. While we will return to publishing mostly monographic volumes in the near future, from time to time this journal will be open to the publication of single articles in miscellaneous issues.
The Focus section hosts six research articles, covering diverse topics and time periods, with contributions both from experienced scholars and from a younger generation of researchers. We open the issue with two different contributions in the field of intellectual history: Abensour offers a critical reflection on the influence of Spinoza on Elijah Benamozegh’s peculiar philosophical and theological arguments, shedding light on his notion of tolerance; Treves proposes a critical reappraisal of Freud’s Moses and Monotheism, considering - through de Certau and Barthes - the rhetorical construction of his historical discourse, and pondering on the affinities between aspects of Freud’s approach and the contemporary innovations of the Annales school. We then move on to contributions dedicated to the field of Holocaust studies: Van Camp considers, with lexicometric and qualitative analysis, the social dynamics within Nazi camps and the development of stereotypical representations of the small and peculiar group of Italian Jews who suffered deportation; Renzo instead reconstructs, through a rich archival investigation, the life of Jewish Displaced Persons present in various camps in Italy (1943-1948) and the intricate network of agencies and organizations active in offering relief and support to those survivors of the Holocaust. We close the issue with two articles by more seasoned scholars. Sarfatti analyzes Italian memory policies and in particular the genesis of the law promoting ‘Holocaust Remembrance Day’, its implementation and its effects on Italian society and culture. Giladi and Goldstein study, mainly through the use of the periodical press of the time, the attitudes towards death and the sacrificial cultures of Zionist settlers under Ottoman and later British rule. As usual, the issue also contains the discussion of a major book – in this instance Raffaella Perin and Paolo Zanini offer their insight on David Kertzer’s The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe – and several book reviews covering various areas of research and debate in the field of Jewish history.
The Editors of Quest