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Reassessing Jewish Life in Medieval Europe (Hardback)
  • Reassessing Jewish Life in Medieval Europe (Hardback)
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Reassessing Jewish Life in Medieval Europe (Hardback)

(author)
£52.00
Hardback 290 Pages / Published: 27/09/2010
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This book re-evaluates the prevailing notion that Jews in medieval Christian Europe lived under an appalling regime of ecclesiastical limitation, governmental exploitation and expropriation, and unceasing popular violence. Robert Chazan argues that, while Jewish life in medieval Western Christendom was indeed beset with grave difficulties, it was nevertheless an environment rich in opportunities; the Jews of medieval Europe overcame obstacles, grew in number, explored innovative economic options, and fashioned enduring new forms of Jewish living. His research also provides a reconsideration of the legacy of medieval Jewish life, which is often depicted as equally destructive and projected as the underpinning of the twentieth-century catastrophes of antisemitism and the Holocaust. Dr Chazan's research proves that, although Jewish life in the medieval West laid the foundation for much Jewish suffering in the post-medieval world, it also stimulated considerable Jewish ingenuity, which lies at the root of impressive Jewish successes in the modern West.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521763042
Number of pages: 290
Weight: 520 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'A thought-provoking assessment of Jewish life in the Middle Ages that eschews persecutions and expulsions to concentrate on the remarkable growth in the number of Jews living under Christian rule between 1000 and 1500.' Anna Sapir Abulafia, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge
'Was there any place for Jews in medieval Europe after western Christianity reconceptualized itself as Christendom, thereby excluding all non-Christian 'others'? Were they just 'outsiders', the product of Christian 'Judeophobia'? In Reassessing Jewish Life in Medieval Europe, Robert Chazan provides a fascinating overview of Jewish life in medieval Western Christendom. He argues that although Jewish communities had to face grave difficulties, they were nevertheless successful in adapting themselves in an environment rich in opportunities, growing in number and wealth, and fashioning new forms of life and culture. A stimulating book, extremely useful for reconsidering the Jewish legacy in the post-medieval world.' Dominique Iogna-Prat, CNRS, University of Paris 1- Pantheon Sorbonne
'This study provides an intriguing interpretation of Jewish history in the Middle Ages and across the divide between the medieval and the modern. Writing with great authority and building on his own invaluable studies and a magisterial knowledge of others' scholarship, Robert Chazan argues that the negative experience of Jewish life in medieval Christian Europe was alloyed with much more that was positive, though traditionally undervalued by scholars. Together, they informed a broad set of practices and beliefs that were instrumental in the Jews' survival and prosperity long into the present. No student of medieval Jewish history or of the medieval legacy of Jewish life can ignore this wide-ranging and vigorous study.' William Chester Jordan, Princeton University

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