Eros, Sodom, Zion


  • Federico D'Agostino



The (self-)representations of Jews and homosexuals in European modern history show clear affinities. In the same years of the Nineteenth century when homosexuality was crystallized in the medical and biological discourse, Judaism was transformed from a religious/cultural affiliation to a racial feature. At the turn of the century, both of them gave birth to self-emancipation projects that partly accepted the prevailing, hegemonic stereotypes, and partly refused them. An attempt to come to terms with the masculine stereotype that had risen to ideological pillar of European nationalism was arguably at the center of this common endeavor. Based on a review of historical, literary and philosophical sources, this article proposes to consider this affinity as intrinsic. Despite the attempts of assimilation, Judaism and homosexuality were objectively not easily compatible with the project of European nationalism at its climax. Namely, for internal and interconnected reasons, both contradicted and contradict the Subject (male) idea, built on the assumptions of self-sufficiency, autonomy, and domination posited by Enlightenment and Positivism.

Keywords: Judaism, homosexuality, gender, religion, assimilation