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Anti Judaism The Western Tradition

Author : David Nirenberg
ISBN : 9780393239430
Genre : History
File Size : 79.67 MB
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“Exhilarating . . . a scholarly tour de force. The story Nirenberg has to tell is not over.”—Adam Kirsch, Tablet This incisive history upends the complacency that confines anti-Judaism to the ideological extremes in the Western tradition. With deep learning and elegance, David Nirenberg shows how foundational anti-Judaism is to the history of the West. Questions of how we are Jewish and, more critically, how and why we are not have been churning within the Western imagination throughout its history. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans; Christians and Muslims of every period; even the secularists of modernity have used Judaism in constructing their visions of the world. The thrust of this tradition construes Judaism as an opposition, a danger often from within, to be criticized, attacked, and eliminated. The intersections of these ideas with the world of power—the Roman destruction of the Second Temple, the Spanish Inquisition, the German Holocaust—are well known. The ways of thought underlying these tragedies can be found at the very foundation of Western history.
Category: History

Anti Judaism

Author : David Nirenberg
ISBN : 1781852952
Genre :
File Size : 32.84 MB
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A magisterial history, ranging from antiquity to the present, that reveals anti-Judaism to be a mode of thought deeply embedded in the Western tradition. There is a widespread tendency to regard anti-Judaism - whether expressed in a casual remark or implemented through pogrom or extermination campaign - as somehow exceptional: an unfortunate indicator of personal prejudice or the shocking outcome of an extremist ideology married to power. But, as David Nirenberg argues in this ground-breaking study, to confine anit-Judaism to the margins of our culture is to be dangerously complacent. Anti-Judaism is not an irrational closet in the vast edifice of Western thought, but rather one of the basic tools with which that edifice was constructed.

Neighboring Faiths

Author : David Nirenberg
ISBN : 9780226168937
Genre : History
File Size : 44.31 MB
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This book represents the culmination of David Nirenberg's ongoing project; namely, how Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived with and thought about each other in the Middle Ages, and what the medieval past can tell us about how they do so today. There have been scripture based studies of the three religions of the book” that claim descent from Abraham, but Nirenberg goes beyond those to pay close attention to how the three religious neighbors loved, tolerated, massacred, and expelled each otherall in the name of Godin periods and places both long ago and far away. Whether Christian Crusaders and settlers in Islamic-ruled lands, or Jewish-Muslim relations in Christian-controlled Iberia, for Nirenberg, the three religions need to be studied in terms of how each affected the development of the other over time, their proximity of religious and philosophical thought as well as their overlapping geographies, and how the three neighbors” define (and continue to define) themselves and their place in the here-and-nowand the here-afterin terms of one another. Arguing against exemplary histories, static models of tolerance versus prosecution, or so-called Golden Ages and Black Legends, Nirenberg offers here instead a story that is more dynamic and interdependent, one where Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities have re-imagined themselves, not only as abstractions of categories in each other's theologies and ideologies, but by living with each other every day as neighbors jostling each other on the street. From dangerous attractions leading to interfaith marriage, to interreligious conflicts leading to segregation, violence, and sometimes extermination, to strategies of bridging the interfaith gap through language, vocabulary, and poetryNirenberg aims to understand the intertwined past of the three faiths as a way for their heirs to coproduce the future.
Category: History

Communities Of Violence

Author : David Nirenberg
ISBN : 9781400866236
Genre : History
File Size : 86.14 MB
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In the wake of modern genocide, we tend to think of violence against minorities as a sign of intolerance, or, even worse, a prelude to extermination. Violence in the Middle Ages, however, functioned differently, according to David Nirenberg. In this provocative book, he focuses on specific attacks against minorities in fourteenth-century France and the Crown of Aragon (Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia). He argues that these attacks--ranging from massacres to verbal assaults against Jews, Muslims, lepers, and prostitutes--were often perpetrated not by irrational masses laboring under inherited ideologies and prejudices, but by groups that manipulated and reshaped the available discourses on minorities. Nirenberg shows that their use of violence expressed complex beliefs about topics as diverse as divine history, kinship, sex, money, and disease, and that their actions were frequently contested by competing groups within their own society. Nirenberg's readings of archival and literary sources demonstrates how violence set the terms and limits of coexistence for medieval minorities. The particular and contingent nature of this coexistence is underscored by the book's juxtapositions--some systematic (for example, that of the Crown of Aragon with France, Jew with Muslim, medieval with modern), and some suggestive (such as African ritual rebellion with Catalan riots). Throughout, the book questions the applicability of dichotomies like tolerance versus intolerance to the Middle Ages, and suggests the limitations of those analyses that look for the origins of modern European persecutory violence in the medieval past.
Category: History

Judaism And Christian Art

Author : Herbert L. Kessler
ISBN : 9780812208368
Genre : History
File Size : 62.91 MB
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Christian cultures across the centuries have invoked Judaism in order to debate, represent, and contain the dangers presented by the sensual nature of art. By engaging Judaism, both real and imagined, they explored and expanded the perils and possibilities for Christian representation of the material world. The thirteen essays in Judaism and Christian Art reveal that Christian art has always defined itself through the figures of Judaism that it produces. From its beginnings, Christianity confronted a host of questions about visual representation. Should Christians make art, or does attention to the beautiful works of human hands constitute a misplaced emphasis on the things of this world or, worse, a form of idolatry ("Thou shalt make no graven image")? And if art is allowed, upon what styles, motifs, and symbols should it draw? Christian artists, theologians, and philosophers answered these questions and many others by thinking about and representing the relationship of Christianity to Judaism. This volume is the first dedicated to the long history, from the catacombs to colonialism but with special emphasis on the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, of the ways in which Christian art deployed cohorts of "Jews"—more figurative than real—in order to conquer, defend, and explore its own territory.
Category: History

Aesthetic Theology And Its Enemies

Author : David Nirenberg
ISBN : 9781611687798
Genre : Religion
File Size : 78.29 MB
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Through most of Western European history, Jews have been a numerically tiny or entirely absent minority, but across that history Europeans have nonetheless worried a great deal about Judaism. Why should that be so? This short but powerfully argued book suggests that Christian anxieties about their own transcendent ideals made Judaism an important tool for Christianity, as an apocalyptic religionÑcharacterized by prizing soul over flesh, the spiritual over the literal, the heavenly over the physical worldÑcame to terms with the inescapable importance of body, language, and material things in this world. Nirenberg shows how turning the Jew into a personification of worldly over spiritual concerns, surface over inner meaning, allowed cultures inclined toward transcendence to understand even their most materialistic practices as spiritual. Focusing on art, poetry, and politicsÑthree activities especially condemned as worldly in early Christian cultureÑhe reveals how, over the past two thousand years, these activities nevertheless expanded the potential for their own existence within Christian culture because they were used to represent Judaism. Nirenberg draws on an astonishingly diverse collection of poets, painters, preachers, philosophers, and politicians to reconstruct the roles played by representations of Jewish ÒenemiesÓ in the creation of Western art, culture, and politics, from the ancient world to the present day. This erudite and tightly argued survey of the ways in which Christian cultures have created themselves by thinking about Judaism will appeal to the broadest range of scholars of religion, art, literature, political theory, media theory, and the history of Western civilization more generally.
Category: Religion

Living Letters Of The Law

Author : Jeremy Cohen
ISBN : 0520218701
Genre : History
File Size : 36.21 MB
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"Well, clearly, and articulately written, Living Letters of the Law is among the most important books in medieval European history generally, as well as in its particular field."--Edward Peters, author of The First Crusade
Category: History

Image And Reality

Author : Judith Lieu
ISBN : 9780567089632
Genre : Religion
File Size : 63.54 MB
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Judith Lieu examines the rhetorical function of Jews in the early texts of the second century and seeks to acknowledge the complex nature of an issue which is too easily proclaimed 'Christian anti-Semitism'.
Category: Religion

Dark Mirror

Author : Sara Lipton
ISBN : 9780805096019
Genre : Art
File Size : 90.77 MB
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In Dark Mirror, Sara Lipton offers a fascinating examination of the emergence of anti-Semitic iconography in the Middle Ages The straggly beard, the hooked nose, the bag of coins, and gaudy apparel—the religious artists of medieval Christendom had no shortage of virulent symbols for identifying Jews. Yet, hateful as these depictions were, the story they tell is not as simple as it first appears. Drawing on a wide range of primary sources, Lipton argues that these visual stereotypes were neither an inevitable outgrowth of Christian theology nor a simple reflection of medieval prejudices. Instead, she maps out the complex relationship between medieval Christians' religious ideas, social experience, and developing artistic practices that drove their depiction of Jews from benign, if exoticized, figures connoting ancient wisdom to increasingly vicious portrayals inspired by (and designed to provoke) fear and hostility. At the heart of this lushly illustrated and meticulously researched work are questions that have occupied scholars for ages—why did Jews becomes such powerful and poisonous symbols in medieval art? Why were Jews associated with certain objects, symbols, actions, and deficiencies? And what were the effects of such portrayals—not only in medieval society, but throughout Western history? What we find is that the image of the Jew in medieval art was not a portrait of actual neighbors or even imagined others, but a cloudy glass into which Christendom gazed to find a distorted, phantasmagoric rendering of itself.
Category: Art

The Definition Of Anti Semitism

Author : Kenneth L. Marcus
ISBN : 9780199375646
Genre : Antisemitism
File Size : 24.32 MB
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This is the first book-length study to explore, in the context of the new anti-Semitism, the question that has become central to its field of scholarship: What is anti-Semitism? It explains how the failure to define anti-Semitism properly has exacerbated regulatory paralysis at a regulatory agency responsible for combating it. It explores the various ways in which anti-Semitism has been defined, demonstrates the weaknesses in prior efforts, develops a new definition of anti-Semitism, and explain the implications for efforts to combat this problem.
Category: Antisemitism