Postdoctoral Associates

Adam Stern is the 2017-2018 Postdoctoral Associate in the Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism as well as a Lecturer in the Humanities Program and the Department of Religious Studies. He received a PhD in the Study of Religion from Harvard University in 2017 and has previously taught at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. His research interests include continental philosophy, medieval and modern Jewish intellectual history, secularism, political theology, and theories of translation. His articles and translations have appeared in The Journal of Religion, The Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook, and the Journal of Palestine Studies.

He is currently completing his first book project, tentatively entitled Genealogies of Survival: Christianity, Jews, Sovereignty. The book’s central wager is that the much-debated question of “Jewish survival” can act as a cipher for the wider proliferation of survival rhetoric across our modern, secular moment. From this perspective, the book undertakes a series of readings in canonical texts by writers who have become major exponents of the discourse on “Jewish survival”: Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Franz Rosenzweig, and Sigmund Freud. In each case, the goal is to demonstrate that these authors, so often taken to be Jewish theorists of Jewish survival, write narratives of survival and Jewish survival that actually belong to the theological and political legacy of Latin Christianity. Genealogies of Survival traces a history that coalesces around the body of Christ and, in doing so, ambivalently produces the figure of the mysterious body of Israel. It is a tradition, the book concludes, that endures into the present and continues to condition the ways that Christianity defines, differentiates, and secularizes itself.