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Rethinking European Jewish History
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Rethinking European Jewish History (Hardback)

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Europe has changed greatly in the last century.

Political, social, and ideological transformations have not only redrawn the

map of the continent but have rewoven the fabric of its culture. These changes

have nourished widespread reassessment in European historical research: in

terms of its presuppositions, its methodologies, its directions, its emphases,

and its scope. The political boundaries between nations and states, along with

the very concepts of 'nation' and 'boundary', have changed significantly, and

the self-consciousness of ethnic minorities has likewise evolved in new

directions. All these developments have affected how the Jews of Europe

perceive themselves, and they help to shape the prism through which historians

view the Jewish past.


volume looks at the Jewish past in the spirit of this reassessment. Part I

reconsiders the basic parameters of the subject as well as some of its

fundamental concepts, suggesting new assumptions and perspectives from which to

conduct future studies of European Jewish history. Topics covered here include

periodization and the definition of geographical borders, antisemitism, gender

and the history of Jewish women, and notions of assimilation. Part II is

devoted to articulating the meaning of 'modernity' in the history

of European Jewry and demarcating key stages in its crystallization.

Contributors here reflect on the defining characteristics of a distinct early

modern period in European Jewish history, the Reformation and the Jews, and the

fundamental features of the Jewish experience in modern times.

Parts III and IV present two scholarly conversations as case studies for the

application of the critical and programmatic categories considered thus far:

the complex web of relationships between Jews, Christians, and Jewish converts

to Christianity (Conversos, New Christians, Marranos) in fifteenth-century

Spain; and the impact of American Jewry on Jewish life in Europe in the twentieth

century, at a time when the dominant trend was one of migration from Europe to

the Americas.


timely volume suggests a new framework for the study of Jewish history and

helps to contextualize it within the mainstream of historical scholarship.CONTRIBUTORS: Ram Ben-Shalom, Miriam Bodian, Jeremy

Cohen, Judah M. Cohen, David Engel, Gershon David Hundert, Paula Hyman, Maud

Mandel, David Nirenberg, Moshe Rosman, David B. Ruderman, Daniel Soyer

History & PoliticsRegional & national historyEuropean historyPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesSocial groupsReligious groups: social & cultural aspectsJewish studies Publisher: Liverpool University Press Publication Date: 27/11/2008 ISBN-13: 9781904113560  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Jeremy Cohen holds the Abraham and Edita Spiegel Family Foundation Chair for European Jewish History at Tel Aviv University, where he served as Director of the Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center between 2002 and 2005. A specialist in the history of Jewish-Christian relations and three times a winner of the National Jewish Book Award, his various publications include The Friars and the Jews: The Evolution of Medieval Anti-Judaism (1982), Living Letters of the Law: Ideas of the Jew in Medieval Christianity (1999), and Christ Killers: The Jews and the Passion from the Bible to the Big Screen (2007). Moshe Rosman is Professor of Jewish History at Bar Ilan University in Israel. He has been a Fulbright scholar, an IREX fellow, a fellow of the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies of the University of Pennsylvania, winner of the National Jewish Book Award in History (1996), the Zalman Shazar Prize (2000), the Jerzy Milewski Award (2000), and visiting professor at the University of Michigan and at Solomon University in Kiev. Professor Rosman has conducted extensive archival research in eastern Europe and specializes in integrating Jewish, Polish, and other sources. His previous books include The Lords' Jews: Jews and Magnates in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Founder of Hasidism: A Quest for the Historical Ba'al Shem Tov.

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