Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of Einstein's Jewish Science
Cover image of Einstein's Jewish Science
Share this Title:

Einstein's Jewish Science

Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion

Steven Gimbel

Publication Date
Binding Type
Request Exam CopyRequest Review Copy

Finalist for the Gerrard and Ella Berman Memorial Award of the Jewish Book Council

Is relativity Jewish? The Nazis denigrated Albert Einstein’s revolutionary theory by calling it "Jewish science," a charge typical of the ideological excesses of Hitler and his followers. Philosopher of science Steven Gimbel explores the many meanings of this provocative phrase and considers whether there is any sense in which Einstein’s theory of relativity is Jewish.

Arguing that we must take seriously the possibility that the Nazis were in some measure correct, Gimbel examines Einstein and his work to explore…

Finalist for the Gerrard and Ella Berman Memorial Award of the Jewish Book Council

Is relativity Jewish? The Nazis denigrated Albert Einstein’s revolutionary theory by calling it "Jewish science," a charge typical of the ideological excesses of Hitler and his followers. Philosopher of science Steven Gimbel explores the many meanings of this provocative phrase and considers whether there is any sense in which Einstein’s theory of relativity is Jewish.

Arguing that we must take seriously the possibility that the Nazis were in some measure correct, Gimbel examines Einstein and his work to explore how beliefs, background, and environment may—or may not—have influenced the work of the scientist. You cannot understand Einstein’s science, Gimbel declares, without knowing the history, religion, and philosophy that influenced it.

No one, especially Einstein himself, denies Einstein's Jewish heritage, but many are uncomfortable saying that he was being a Jew while he was at his desk working. To understand what "Jewish" means for Einstein’s work, Gimbel first explores the many definitions of "Jewish" and asks whether there are elements of Talmudic thinking apparent in Einstein’s theory of relativity. He applies this line of inquiry to other scientists, including Isaac Newton, René Descartes, Sigmund Freud, and Émile Durkheim, to consider whether their specific religious beliefs or backgrounds manifested in their scientific endeavors.

Einstein's Jewish Science intertwines science, history, philosophy, theology, and politics in fresh and fascinating ways to solve the multifaceted riddle of what religion means—and what it means to science. There are some senses, Gimbel claims, in which Jews can find a special connection to E = mc2, and this claim leads to the engaging, spirited debate at the heart of this book.

Jump to
Quick Add
Einstein's Jewish Science

Steven Gimbel

Publication Date
Binding Type
Request Exam CopyRequest Review Copy
Related

Related Books

Cover image of Einstein
Einstein

Jürgen Neffe
translated by Shelley Frisch

$34.00
Quick Add
Einstein

Jürgen Neffe
translated by Shelley Frisch

Publication Date
Binding Type
Cover image of Einstein's Jewish Science
Einstein's Jewish Science

Steven Gimbel

$27.00
Quick Add
Einstein's Jewish Science

Steven Gimbel

Publication Date
Binding Type
Preorder
Cover image of Replayed
Replayed

Henry Lowood
edited by Raiford Guins

$50.00
Quick Add
Replayed

Henry Lowood
edited by Raiford Guins

Publication Date: June 6, 2023
Binding Type
Preorder
Cover image of The Conversation on Water
The Conversation on Water

edited by Andrea K. Gerlak

$16.95
Quick Add
The Conversation on Water

edited by Andrea K. Gerlak

Publication Date: June 6, 2023
Binding Type
Preorder
Cover image of Making Machines of Animals
Making Machines of Animals

Neal A. Knapp

$60.00
Quick Add
Making Machines of Animals

Neal A. Knapp

Publication Date: May 9, 2023
Binding Type
Reviews

Reviews

In this wide-ranging exploration, Gimbel... seeks to discover whether and to what extent Einstein’s work could legitimately be called 'Jewish' and what difference it makes.

Gimbel spins out what could have been a mere provocation into a wide-ranging and entertaining collision of science, history, philosophy, and religion.

Gimbel is an engaging writer... he takes readers on enlightening excursions through the nature of Judaism, Hegelian philosophy, wherever his curiosity leads.

[A] lively, intentionally provocative and wholly compelling inquiry into the Jewishness of Einstein himself and the world-changing scientific revolution that he set in motion.

Reaching back into the first half of the twentieth century, Gimbel returns with absorbing stories about Albert Einstein and his life as a politician, brilliant scientist, and Jew.

See All Reviews
About

Book Details

Table of Contents

Introduction: Einstein's Jewish Science
1. Is Einstein a Jew?
2. Is Relativity Pregnant with Jewish Concepts?
3. Why Did a Jew Formulate the Theory of Relativity?
4. Is the Theory of Relativity Political

Introduction: Einstein's Jewish Science
1. Is Einstein a Jew?
2. Is Relativity Pregnant with Jewish Concepts?
3. Why Did a Jew Formulate the Theory of Relativity?
4. Is the Theory of Relativity Political Science or Scientific Politics?
5. Did Relativity Influence the Jewish Intelligentsia?
6. Einstein's Liberal Science?
Conclusion: Einstein's Cosmopolitan Science
Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Steven Gimbel

Steven Gimbel is the Edwin T. and Cynthia Shearer Johnson Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities and chair of the Department of Philosophy at Gettysburg College, where he won the Luther and Bernice Johnson Award for Distinguished Teaching. He is author of Exploring the Scientific Method: Cases and Questions; René Descartes: The Search for Certainty; and Defending Einstein: Hans...