Skip to main content

Rousseau, Jean Jacques°

ROUSSEAU, JEAN JACQUES°

ROUSSEAU, JEAN JACQUES ° (1712–1778), French author and philosopher, born in Geneva. The international influence that Rousseau exerted on his contemporaries and on posterity was unequaled in European history until the impact of Karl Marx a century later.

The political ideas of Jean Jacques Rousseau have contributed in large measure to the emancipation of the Jews, at first in France and later in other Western European countries. His educational theories had a direct effect on the *Haskalah movement which developed in Jewish circles during the following century. Rousseau not only demanded equal civic rights for the Jews; he also, uniquely among French writers of the Enlightenment, expressed the hope that they would be restored to a country of their own: "I do not think I have ever heard the arguments of the Jews as to why they should not have a free state, schools, and universities where they can speak and argue without danger. Then alone can we know what they have to say" (Emile, Book 4, tr. B. Foxely (1911; repr. 1966), 268). In a page unpublished in his lifetime, Rousseau expressed his admiration for the national qualities of the "eternal people":

"The Jews present us with an outstanding spectacle: the laws of Numa, Lycurgus, and Solon are dead; the far more ancient ones of Moses are still alive. Athens, Sparta, and Rome have perished and all their people have vanished from the earth; though destroyed, Zion has not lost her children. They mingle with all nations but are never lost among them; they no longer have leaders, yet they are still a nation; they no longer have a country and yet they are still citizens…"

bibliography:

L. Poliakov, Histoire de l'antisémitisme, 3 (1968), 118–26; P.M. Masson, La Réligion de Rousseau (1916).

[Leon Poliakov]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rousseau, Jean Jacques°." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 May. 2019 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rousseau, Jean Jacques°." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 24, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rousseau-jean-jacquesdeg

"Rousseau, Jean Jacques°." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved May 24, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rousseau-jean-jacquesdeg

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.