Abraham Rubin | Jewish Quarterly Review
Dr. Hugo Marcus was a German Jewish convert to Islam who played a prominent role in the cultural and intellectual life of the Ahmadi community that thrived in interwar Berlin. From the 1920s to the 1950s, Marcus published numerous essays devoted to the philosophical explication of Islam in light of German Enlightenment thinkers such as Kant, Goethe, and Lessing. Although Marcus rarely, if ever, alluded to his Jewish origins, this study contends that it is precisely his conception of Islam and his figuration of the Muslim that brings the invisible contours of his Jewishness to light. It traces the continuities between Marcus’s portrayal of Islam and Muslims and then-regnant modes of German Jewish self-representation. Marcus’s reticence on the subject of his origins notwithstanding, his interpretation of Islam situates him within the legacy of German Jewish liberalism and its tradition of religious and cultural self-definition.