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The Paranoid ApocalypseA Hundred-Year Retrospective on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion$
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Richard Landes and Steven T. Katz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814748923

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814748923.001.0001

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“Jewish World Conspiracy” and the Question of Secular Religions

“Jewish World Conspiracy” and the Question of Secular Religions

An Interpretative Perspective

(p.100) 8 “Jewish World Conspiracy” and the Question of Secular Religions
The Paranoid Apocalypse

Paul Zawadzki

NYU Press

This chapter examines the role of the Protocols as part of an ominous new phenomenon: secular “political religions.” The Protocols is a remarkable case study in the way that, under the secular pressures of modernity's skepticism, scientific rigor, and drive to separate church and state, religious beliefs reemerged in a new and different idiom. The Protocols appeared in the middle of the “1900 moment” (1880–1910), when “the general worldview was affected by the fall in influence of the great religions” and when that collapse of traditional religion created a devastating psychological void. In this sense, the Protocols as a mythical narrative participated in the “re-enchantment” of the world—acting not as a regression from modernity but as a response to it.

Keywords:   political religions, 1900 moment, traditional religion, mythical narrative, re-enchantment, modernity

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