Regional Identities and Cultures of Medieval Jews

Regional Identities and Cultures of Medieval Jews PDF Author: Javier Castano
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
ISBN: 1786949903
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 363
Book Description
Though the existence of Jewish regional cultures is widely known, the origins of the most prominent groups, Ashkenaz and Sepharad, are poorly understood, and the rich variety of other regional Jewish identities is often overlooked. Yet all these subcultures emerged in the Middle Ages. Scholars contributing to the present study were invited to consider how such regional identities were fashioned, propagated, reinforced, contested, and reshaped—and to reflect on the developments, events, or encounters that made these identities manifest. They were asked to identify how subcultural identities proved to be useful, and the circumstances in which they were deployed. The resulting volume spans the ninth to the sixteenth centuries, and explores Jewish cultural developments in western Europe, the Balkans, North Africa, and Asia Minor. In its own way, each contribution considers factors—demographic, geographical, historical, economic, political, institutional, legal, intellectual, theological, cultural, and even biological—that led medieval Jews to conceive of themselves, or to be perceived by others, as bearers of a discrete Jewish regional identity. Notwithstanding the singularity of each essay, they collectively attest to the inherent dynamism of Jewish regional identities.

Teaching the Global Middle Ages

Teaching the Global Middle Ages PDF Author: Geraldine Heng
Publisher: Modern Language Association
ISBN: 1603295194
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
Languages : en
Pages : 263
Book Description
While globalization is a modern phenomenon, premodern people were also interconnected in early forms of globalism, sharing merchandise, technology, languages, and stories over long distances. Looking across civilizations, this volume takes a broad view of the Middle Ages in order to foster new habits of thinking and develop a multilayered, critical sense of the past. The essays in this volume reach across disciplinary lines to bring insights from music, theater, religion, ecology, museums, and the history of disease into the literature classroom. The contributors provide guidance on texts such as the Thousand and One Nights, Sunjata, Benjamin of Tudela's Book of Travels, and the Malay Annals and on topics such as hotels, maps, and camels. They propose syllabus recommendations, present numerous digital resources, and offer engaging class activities and discussion questions. Ultimately, they provide tools that will help students evaluate popular representations of the Middle Ages and engage with the dynamics of past, present, and future world relationships.

Rashi, Biblical Interpretation, and Latin Learning in Medieval Europe

Rashi, Biblical Interpretation, and Latin Learning in Medieval Europe PDF Author: Mordechai Z. Cohen
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108609023
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages :
Book Description
In this volume, Mordechai Z. Cohen explores the interpretive methods of Rashi of Troyes (1040–1105), the most influential Jewish Bible commentator of all time. By elucidating the 'plain sense' (peshat) of Scripture, together with critically selected midrashic interpretations, Rashi created an approach that was revolutionary in the talmudically-oriented Ashkenazic milieu. Cohen contextualizes Rashi's commentaries by examining influences from other centers of Jewish learning in Muslim Spain and Byzantine lands. He also opens new scholarly paths by comparing Rashi's methods with trends in Latin learning reflected in the Psalms commentary of his older contemporary, Saint Bruno the Carthusian (1030–1101). Drawing upon the Latin tradition of enarratio poetarum ('interpreting the poets'), Bruno applied a grammatical interpretive method and incorporated patristic commentary selectively, a parallel that Cohen uses to illuminate Rashi's exegetical values. Cohen thereby brings to light the novel literary conceptions manifested by Rashi and his key students, Josef Qara and Rashbam.

Jews and Crime in Medieval Europe

Jews and Crime in Medieval Europe PDF Author: Ephraim Shoham-Steiner
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
ISBN: 0814345603
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 476
Book Description
Jews and Crime in Medieval Europe is a topic laced by prejudice on one hand and apologetics on the other. Beginning in the Middle Ages, Jews were often portrayed as criminals driven by greed. While these accusations were, for the most part, unfounded, in other cases criminal accusations against Jews were not altogether baseless. Drawing on a variety of legal, liturgical, literary, and archival sources, Ephraim Shoham-Steiner examines the reasons for the involvement in crime, the social profile of Jews who performed crimes, and the ways and mechanisms employed by the legal and communal body to deal with Jewish criminals and with crimes committed by Jews. A society’s attitude toward individuals identified as criminals—by others or themselves—can serve as a window into that society’s mores and provide insight into how transgressors understood themselves and society’s attitudes toward them. The book is divided into three main sections. In the first section, Shoham-Steiner examines theft and crimes of a financial nature. In the second section, he discusses physical violence and murder, most importantly among Jews but also incidents when Jews attacked others and cases in which Jews asked non-Jews to commit violence against fellow Jews. In the third section, Shoham-Steiner approaches the role of women in crime and explores the gender differences, surveying the nature of the crimes involving women both as perpetrators and as victims, as well as the reaction to their involvement in criminal activities among medieval European Jews. While the study of crime and social attitudes toward criminals is firmly established in the social sciences, the history of crime and of social attitudes toward crime and criminals is relatively new, especially in the field of medieval studies and all the more so in medieval Jewish studies. Jews and Crime in Medieval Europe blazes a new path for unearthing daily life history from extremely recalcitrant sources. The intended readership goes beyond scholars and students of medieval Jewish studies, medieval European history, and crime in pre-modern society.

Judaism II

Judaism II PDF Author: Michael Tilly
Publisher: Kohlhammer Verlag
ISBN: 317032585X
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 344
Book Description
Judaism, the oldest of the Abrahamic religions, is one of the pillars of modern civilization. A collective of internationally renowned experts cooperated in a singular academic enterprise to portray Judaism from its transformation as a Temple cult to its broad contemporary varieties. In three volumes the long-running book series "Die Religionen der Menschheit" (Religions of Humanity) presents for the first time a complete and compelling view on Jewish life now and then - a fascinating portrait of the Jewish people with its ability to adapt itself to most different cultural settings, always maintaining its strong and unique identity. Volume II presents Jewish literature and thinking: the Jewish Bible; Hellenistic, Tannaitic, Amoraic and Gaonic literature to medieval and modern genres. Chapters on mysticism, Piyyut, Liturgy and Prayer complete the volume.

Prognostication in the Medieval World

Prognostication in the Medieval World PDF Author: Matthias Heiduk
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
ISBN: 3110499770
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 1039
Book Description
Two opposing views of the future in the Middle Ages dominate recent historical scholarship. According to one opinion, medieval societies were expecting the near end of the world and therefore had no concept of the future. According to the other opinion, the expectation of the near end created a drive to change the world for the better and thus for innovation. Close inspection of the history of prognostication reveals the continuous attempts and multifold methods to recognize and interpret God’s will, the prodigies of nature, and the patterns of time. That proves, on the one hand, the constant human uncertainty facing the contingencies of the future. On the other hand, it demonstrates the firm believe during the Middle Ages in a future which could be shaped and even manipulated. The handbook provides the first overview of current historical research on medieval prognostication. It considers the entangled influences and transmissions between Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and non-monotheistic societies during the period from a wide range of perspectives. An international team of 63 renowned authors from about a dozen different academic disciplines contributed to this comprehensive overview.

Rashi's Commentary on the Torah

Rashi's Commentary on the Torah PDF Author: Eric Lawee
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019093784X
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 480
Book Description
Winner of the Jewish Book Council Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award in Scholarship This book explores the reception history of the most important Jewish Bible commentary ever composed, the Commentary on the Torah of Rashi (Shlomo Yitzhaki; 1040-1105). Though the Commentary has benefited from enormous scholarly attention, analysis of diverse reactions to it has been surprisingly scant. Viewing its path to preeminence through a diverse array of religious, intellectual, literary, and sociocultural lenses, Eric Lawee focuses on processes of the Commentary's canonization and on a hitherto unexamined--and wholly unexpected--feature of its reception: critical, and at times astonishingly harsh, resistance to it. Lawee shows how and why, despite such resistance, Rashi's interpretation of the Torah became an exegetical classic, a staple in the curriculum, a source of shared religious vocabulary for Jews across time and place, and a foundational text that shaped the Jewish nation's collective identity. The book takes as its larger integrating perspective processes of canonicity as they shape how traditions flourish, disintegrate, or evolve. Rashi's scriptural magnum opus, the foremost work of Franco-German (Ashkenazic) biblical scholarship, faced stiff competition for canonical supremacy in the form of rationalist reconfigurations of Judaism as they developed in Mediterranean seats of learning. It nevertheless emerged triumphant in an intense battle for Judaism's future that unfolded in late medieval and early modern times. Investigation of the reception of the Commentary throws light on issues in Jewish scholarship and spirituality that continue to stir reflection, and even passionate debate, in the Jewish world today.

Ashkenazic Jews and the Biblical Israelites

Ashkenazic Jews and the Biblical Israelites PDF Author: Jits Straten
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
ISBN: 3110701383
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 122
Book Description
Who were the early ancestors of East European Ashkenazic Jews, how were they related to the biblical Israelites/Judeans, and when and from where did they arrive in Eastern Europe? This book intends to answer these questions, but first it discusses some of the important questions that are neglected in the literature but important in the author’s work such as the ethnic composition of Canaan/Palestine and the switch from a patrilineal system (Israelites/Judeans) to a matrilineal one including converts (Jews). The author also discusses more present-day topics such as whether it is possible to determine if someone is (Ashkenazic) Jewish and a descendant of the biblical Israelites based on a genetic profile, and whether Ashkenazic Jews are more Jewish than Indian or Ethiopian Jews. Jits van Straten argues that the answer is negative in both cases, based on the official definition of who is a Jew. Finally, it is shown why East European Ashkenazis speak Yiddish without originating from a German-speaking region.

Oxford Handbook of Medieval Central Europe

Oxford Handbook of Medieval Central Europe PDF Author: Nada Zecevic
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190920718
Category : Civilization, Medieval
Languages : en
Pages : 633
Book Description
The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Central Europe summarizes the political, social, and cultural history of medieval Central Europe (c. 800-1600 CE), a region long considered a forgotten area of the European past. The 25 cutting-edge chapters present up-to-date research about the region's core medieval kingdoms -- Hungary, Poland, and Bohemia -- and their dynamic interactions with neighboring areas. From the Baltic to the Adriatic, the handbook includes reflections on modern conceptions and uses of the region's shared medieval traditions. The volume's thematic organization reveals rarely compared knowledge about the region's medieval resources: its peoples and structures of power; its social life and economy; its religion and culture; and images of its past.

A Remembrance of His Wonders

A Remembrance of His Wonders PDF Author: David I. Shyovitz
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812249119
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 352
Book Description
In A Remembrance of His Wonders, David I. Shyovitz uncovers the sophisticated ways in which medieval Ashkenazic Jews engaged with the workings and meaning of the natural world, and traces the porous boundaries between medieval science and mysticism, nature and the supernatural, and ultimately, Christians and Jews.