How does the 'medieval' function as a bearer of Jewish identity in a changing secular world? Each chapter in this work addresses a different Jewish return to the medieval by using a language of renewal.
Demonstrating that similarities between Jewish and Christian art in the Middle Ages were more than coincidental, Cultural Exchange meticulously combines a wide range of sources to show how Jews and Christians exchanged artistic and material culture. Joseph Shatzmiller focuses on communities in northern Europe, Iberia, and other Mediterranean societies where Jews and Christians coexisted for centuries, and he synthesizes the most current research to describe the daily encounters that enabled both societies to appreciate common artistic values. Detailing the transmission of cultural sensibilities in the medieval money market and the world of Jewish money lenders, this book examines objects pawned by peasants and humble citizens, sacred relics exchanged by the clergy as security for loans, and aesthetic goods given up by the Christian well-to-do who required financial assistance. The work also explores frescoes and decorations likely painted by non-Jews in medieval and early modern Jewish homes located in Germanic lands, and the ways in which Jews hired Christian artists and craftsmen to decorate Hebrew prayer books and create liturgical objects. Conversely, Christians frequently hired Jewish craftsmen to produce liturgical objects used in Christian churches. With rich archival documentation, Cultural Exchange sheds light on the social and economic history of the creation of Jewish and Christian art, and expands the general understanding of cultural exchange in brand-new ways. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
Received opinion imagines Judaism and Islam as two distinct religions interacting in the centuries following the death of Muhammad in the early seventh century. Tradition describes the relations between the two groups using such tropes as "symbiosis." In this revisionist work, Aaron W. Hughes instead argues that various porous and marginal groups-neither fully Muslim nor fully Jewish-exploited a shared terminology to make sense of their social worlds in response to the rapid process of Islamicization. What emerged as normative rabbinic Judaism on the one hand, and Sunni and ShiEven the spread of rabbinic Judaism, especially at the hands of Saadya Gaon (882-942 CE), was articulated Islamically. In the so-called "Golden Age" that emerged in places like Muslim Spain and North Africa, this "Islamic" Judaism could still be found in the writings of luminaires such as Bahya ibn Paquda, Abraham ibn Ezra, Judah Halevi, and Moses Maimonides. Drawing on social theory, comparative religion, and the analysis of original sources, Hughes presents a compelling case for rewriting our understanding of Jews and Muslims in their earliest centuries of interaction. Not content to remain solely in the past, Shared Identities examines the continued interaction of Muslims and Jews, now reimagined as Palestinians and Israelis, into the present.
"As a recently established field of Jewish thought, Jewish political philosophy has made increasingly frequent appearances in recently edited histories of Jewish philosophy. Following the pioneering efforts of Leo Strauss, Ralph Lerner and Daniel Elazar, among others, Jewish political philosophy gained its proper place alongside ethics and metaphysics in the study of the history of Jewish philosophy. This volume is another manifestation of this welcomed development. Consisting of selected papers published in English over the last thirty years, Wisdom's Little Sister concentrates on the Medieval and Renaissance periods, from Sa'adiah Gaon in the tenth century to Spinoza in the seventeenth century. These were the formative periods in the development of Jewish political philosophy, when Jewish scholars, versed in the canonical Jewish sources (biblical and rabbinic), encountered Greek political philosophy as transmitted by Muslim philosophers such as Alfarabi, Ibn Bajja and Averroes. In combining Greek, Jewish and Muslim thought, these scholars are the originators of what we now know as Jewish political philosophy."--Publisher's website.
The first of a three-volume series, this book offers access to a rich selection of Eva Jospe's most distinguished works on Jewish Philosophy. Here, the editors unveil Jospe's previously unpublished study "The Concept of Encounter in the Philosophy of Martin Buber," presented alongside several of her published articles on the life and work of Buber, and on modern Jewish thought. The second volume of this series contains Jospe's translations of Moses Mendelssohn, and Volume Three is comprised of her Reason and Hope: Selections from the Jewish Writings of Hermann Cohen. Together, these volumes offer a multidimensional view of Jospe's work and thoughts, including a heightened awareness of the paradox noted by Ephraim Meir in his introduction-Jospe's appreciation and admiration of Martin Buber, reflected in her clear presentation and analysis of his dialogical philosophy, simultaneously coupled with her pointed criticisms of the standpoint of her one-time teacher.
This book surveys the vast body of medieval Jewish philosophy, devoting ample discussion to major figures such as Saadiah Gaon, Maimonides, Abraham Ibn Ezra, Judah Halevi, Abraham Ibn Daoud, and Gersonides, as well as presenting the ancillary texts of lesser known authors. Sirat quotes little-known texts, providing commentary and situating them within their historical and philosophical contexts. A comprehensive bibliography directs the reader to the texts themselves and to recent studies.
Collects a wide range of writings, from autobiographical sketches and legal codes to folk literature and liturgical poetry, to provide a sweeping view of medieval and early modern Jewish ritual and religious practice that considers many lesser-known aspects of Jewish culture. Reprint.
From the ninth to the fifteenth centuries Jewish thinkers living in Islamic and Christian lands philosophized about Judaism. Influenced first by Islamic theological speculation and the great philosophers of classical antiquity, and then in the late medieval period by Christian Scholasticism, Jewish philosophers and scientists reflected on the nature of language about God, the scope and limits of human understanding, the eternity or createdness of the world, prophecy and divine providence, the possibility of human freedom, and the relationship between divine and human law. Though many viewed philosophy as a dangerous threat, others incorporated it into their understanding of what it is to be a Jew. This Companion presents all the major Jewish thinkers of the period, the philosophical and non-philosophical contexts of their thought, and the interactions between Jewish and non-Jewish philosophers. It is a comprehensive introduction to a vital period of Jewish intellectual history.
Did Muslims and Jews in the Middle Ages cohabit in a peaceful "interfaith utopia?" Or were Jews under Muslim rule persecuted, much as they were in Christian lands? Rejecting both polemically charged "myths," Mark Cohen offers a systematic comparison of Jewish life in medieval Islam and Christendom--the first in-depth explanation of why medieval Islamic-Jewish relations, though not utopic, were less confrontational and violent than those between Christians and Jews in the West.
Part of the Jewish Encounter series Taking in everything from the Kingdom of David to the Oslo Accords, Ruth Wisse offers a radical new way to think about the Jewish relationship to power. Traditional Jews believed that upholding the covenant with God constituted a treaty with the most powerful force in the universe; this later transformed itself into a belief that, unburdened by a military, Jews could pursue their religious mission on a purely moral plain. Wisse, an eminent professor of comparative literature at Harvard, demonstrates how Jewish political weakness both increased Jewish vulnerability to scapegoating and violence, and unwittingly goaded power-seeking nations to cast Jews as perpetual targets. Although she sees hope in the State of Israel, Wisse questions the way the strategies of the Diaspora continue to drive the Jewish state, echoing Abba Eban's observation that Israel was the only nation to win a war and then sue for peace. And then she draws a persuasive parallel to the United States today, as it struggles to figure out how a liberal democracy can face off against enemies who view Western morality as weakness. This deeply provocative book is sure to stir debate both inside and outside the Jewish world. Wisse's narrative offers a compelling argument that is rich with history and bristling with contemporary urgency. From the Hardcover edition.
Talya Fishman explores the impact of the textualization process in medieval Europe on the Babylonian Talmud's roles within Jewish culture.
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.
A profile of the Zionist poet and philosopher offers insight into his representation of 11th- and 12th-century Andalusian Spain, analyzes the religious disciplines that informed his work and traces his fateful voyage to Palestine.
This richly illustrated volume illuminates how the arts have helped Jews confront the challenges of modernity. There truly is an art to being Jewish in the modern world—or, alternatively, an art to being modern in the Jewish world—and this collection fully captures its range, diversity, and historical significance.
The 16 contributions to this volume, written by scholars from various fields of religious studies, lead the reader to comprehend the plurality of interreligious encounters, hostile yet also peaceful, between the Children of Abraham, i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Is Judaism a religion, a culture, a nationality--or a mixture of all of these? In How Judaism Became a Religion, Leora Batnitzky boldly argues that this question more than any other has driven modern Jewish thought since the eighteenth century. This wide-ranging and lucid introduction tells the story of how Judaism came to be defined as a religion in the modern period--and why Jewish thinkers have fought as well as championed this idea. Ever since the Enlightenment, Jewish thinkers have debated whether and how Judaism--largely a religion of practice and public adherence to law--can fit into a modern, Protestant conception of religion as an individual and private matter of belief or faith. Batnitzky makes the novel argument that it is this clash between the modern category of religion and Judaism that is responsible for much of the creative tension in modern Jewish thought. Tracing how the idea of Jewish religion has been defended and resisted from the eighteenth century to today, the book discusses many of the major Jewish thinkers of the past three centuries, including Moses Mendelssohn, Abraham Geiger, Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber, Zvi Yehuda Kook, Theodor Herzl, and Mordecai Kaplan. At the same time, it tells the story of modern orthodoxy, the German-Jewish renaissance, Jewish religion after the Holocaust, the emergence of the Jewish individual, the birth of Jewish nationalism, and Jewish religion in America. More than an introduction, How Judaism Became a Religion presents a compelling new perspective on the history of modern Jewish thought.
A powerful and challenging examination of what Jews believe today¿ by a new generation¿s dynamic and innovative thinkers. New in Paperback! At every critical juncture in Jewish history, Jews have understood a dynamic theology to be essential for a vital Jewish community. This important collection sets the next stage of Jewish theological thought, bringing together a cross section of interesting new voices from all movements in Judaism to inspire and stimulate discussion now and in the years to come. Provocative and wide-ranging, these invigorating and creative insights from a new generation¿s thought leaders provide a coherent and inspiring picture of Jewish belief in our time. The passionate voices of a new generation of Jewish thinkers continue the dialogue with God, examining the dynamics of what Jews can believe today. They explore: ¿ A dynamic God in process ¿ The canon of Jewish literature and its potential to be both contemporary and authentic to tradition ¿ Critical terms and categories for discussing Jewish theology ¿ The ongoing nature of the Jewish search for God ¿ Ruptures within the modern Jewish condition ¿ And much more
"One May day in 1896, at a dining-room table in Cambridge, England, a meeting took place between a Romanian-born maverick Jewish intellectual and twin learned Presbyterian Scotswomen, who had assembled to inspect several pieces of rag paper and parchment. It was the unlikely start to what would prove a remarkable, continent-hopping, century-crossing saga that has in many ways revolutionized our understanding of Jewish history, religion, and culture. InSacred Trash,MacArthur-winning poet and translator Peter Cole and acclaimed essayist Adina Hoffman tell the story of the retrieval from an Egyptian geniza-a repository for worn-out texts-of the most vital cache of Jewish manuscripts ever discovered. This tale of buried scholarly treasure weaves together unforgettable portraits of Solomon Schechter and the other heroes of this drama with explorations of the medieval documents themselves-letters and poems, wills and marriage contracts, Bibles, money orders, fiery dissenting religious tracts, fashion-conscious trousseaux lists, prescriptions, petitions, and mysterious magical charms. Presenting a panoramic view of nine hundred years of vibrant Mediterranean Judaism, Hoffman and Cole bring modern readers into the heart of this little-known trove, whose contents have rightly been dubbed othe Living Sea Scrolls.o (With black-and-white illustrations throughout.) "

Best Books