Keywords: Wissenschaft des Judentums, Bruno Bauer, Prussia, Hegelian Philosophy, Jewish Question.
Within the debate around the political emancipation of the Jews, Bruno Bauer
and those intellectuals who took part in the cultural movement of the Wissenschaft
des Judentums, were on opposing sides: the former was against the recognition of a
full equality, whereas the latter were active supporters of the Jewish cause. How to
explain such a great divide between those who were part of the same progressive
German culture inherited from the Hegelian thought? Some volumes published
on the occasion of the bicentenary of the Wissenschaft des Judentums foundation
and the new Italian translation of Bauer’s Die Judenfrage, give us the opportunity
to reflect again on that question. The essay highlights the innovative character of
those works and elaborates on that moment of German history in which a conflict exploded, presenting from its beginnings divisions that were destined to burst in
the following decades.