Yotam Hotam’s fields of interests extend from European Jewish History, Zionist history and thought, to contemporary political thought, political-theology, modern Jewish philosophy, and the philosophy of history.
In his current work he examines a complicated web of intellectual discussions carried on by German and German-Jewish thinkers from the 1950s to the 1970s (Hans Blumenberg, Eric Voegelin, Karl Loewith, Hans Jonas and Gershom Scholem) who have not yet been studied together as a group. The aim of his research is to show the dispute about the ‘legitimacy of the modern age’ in which these intellectuals were engaged, its political-theological character, and the interrelated factors which shaped its form, i.e. the Holocaust, the intellectual dynamics of the late nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century, and Heidegger’s later philosophical work.
In conjunction with his research work on Zionist thought, he has taught both in Israel and the U.S. on the history of the German-Jewish Youth Movement- which proliferated in the first decades of the twentieth century-as a paradigm for a modern European Youth culture.
In his PhD thesis, he examined the relationship between Zionist thought and Life Philosophy (Lebensphilosophie), within the intellectual environment of early twentieth century Germany. The dissertation’s thesis was that Life Philosophy provided Zionist thought with a ‘Theological modern-Gnostic Model’ and the goal of the PhD was divided into two parts: (a) understanding Life Philosophy as modern Gnosticism; and (b) tracing Jewish national interpretation of the modern Gnostic concept, its range of appearances, and evaluating the importance of this understanding to the historical research on Zionist thought.
His Recent Publications
- Modern Gnosis and the Jew: The Culture Crisis, Life Philosophy and the “Jew” (forthcoming, Hebrew) Magnes Press, Jerusalem.
- (ed.) The Age of Youth: German Jewish Young Generation and ModernTimes, (forthcoming, Hebrew) Magnes Press, Jerusalem 2006.
- With Moshe Zimmermann, (eds.), Zweimal Heimat: Die Jeckes zwischen Mitteleuropa und Nahost, (Hebrew & German Versions) Shazar/beerenverlag, Jerusalem/Frankfurt a.M. 2005.
- With Joachim, Jacob, (eds.), Populäre Konstruktionen von Erinnerung - im Deutschen Judentum und nach der Emigration, Vanderhoeck und Ruprecht, Tübinegen 2003.