Some orders may be delayed by the current Coronavirus lockdown.
Visit our help page for further information.
Vernacular Voices: Language and Identity in Medieval French Jewish Communities - Jewish Culture and Contexts (Hardback)
  • Vernacular Voices: Language and Identity in Medieval French Jewish Communities - Jewish Culture and Contexts (Hardback)
zoom

Vernacular Voices: Language and Identity in Medieval French Jewish Communities - Jewish Culture and Contexts (Hardback)

(author)
£56.00
Hardback 272 Pages / Published: 06/07/2010
  • Temporarily unavailable

Currently unavailable to order

This product is currently unavailable.

  • This item has been added to your basket

A thirteenth-century text purporting to represent a debate between a Jew and a Christian begins with the latter's exposition of the virgin birth, something the Jew finds incomprehensible at the most basic level, for reasons other than theological: "Speak to me in French and explain your words!" he says. "Gloss for me in French what you are saying in Latin!" While the Christian and the Jew of the debate both inhabit the so-called Latin Middle Ages, the Jew is no more comfortable with Latin than the Christian would be with Hebrew. Communication between the two is possible only through the vernacular.

In Vernacular Voices, Kirsten Fudeman looks at the roles played by language, and especially medieval French and Hebrew, in shaping identity and culture. How did language affect the way Jews thought, how they interacted with one another and with Christians, and who they perceived themselves to be? What circumstances and forces led to the rise of a medieval Jewish tradition in French? Who were the writers, and why did they sometimes choose to write in the vernacular rather than Hebrew? How and in what terms did Jews define their relationship to the larger French-speaking community?

Drawing on a variety of texts written in medieval French and Hebrew, including biblical glosses, medical and culinary recipes, incantations, prayers for the dead, wedding songs, and letters, Fudeman challenges readers to open their ears to the everyday voices of medieval French-speaking Jews and to consider French elements in Hebrew manuscripts not as a marginal phenomenon but as reflections of a vibrant and full vernacular existence. Applying analytical strategies from linguistics, literature, and history, she demonstrates that language played a central role in the formation, expression, and maintenance of medieval Jewish identity and that it brought Christians and Jews together even as it set them apart.

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 9780812242508
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 576 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"This study by a fine scholar on the topic of the role of the vernacular in medieval French Jewry is a fascinating and an enlightening volume. . . . A significant contribution to medieval Jewish history and to the study of the popular religion of the period."-Religious Studies Review


"Vernacular Voices marks Kirsten Fudeman as a scholar whose work should be followed closely and learned from. She has written a pathbreaking book that displays her linguistic expertise and her impressive methodological sophistication."-Elisheva Baumgarten, author of Mothers and Children: Jewish Family Life in Medieval Europe

You may also be interested in...

The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz
Added to basket
Night
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
The Islamic Enlightenment
Added to basket
How to Fight Anti-Semitism
Added to basket
Final Solution
Added to basket
£20.00
Paperback
The Sound of the Shuttle
Added to basket
The Jewish Cookbook
Added to basket
£35.00
Hardback
The Children's Block
Added to basket
Mazel Tov
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
But You Did Not Come Back
Added to basket
Belonging
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Ajax, The Dutch, The War
Added to basket
Islamic Civilization in Thirty Lives
Added to basket
The Story of the Jews
Added to basket
It's Not About the Burqa
Added to basket

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.