Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought: Writings on Identity, Politics, and Culture, 1893-1958

Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought: Writings on Identity, Politics, and Culture, 1893-1958

by Moshe Behar

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The first anthology of modern Middle Eastern Jewish thoughtSee more details below


The first anthology of modern Middle Eastern Jewish thought

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The intellectual history of eastern Sephardim of the Arab Mediterranean and Levant in modern times (end of nineteenth to mid-twentieth century) remains largely terra incognita (except through literary writings) even in Sephardic and more recent Mizrahi studies. . . . The editors begin to remedy this deficit with an anthology of original writings (mostly translated from Arabic), by distinguished Jewish men and women of culture who were equally at home in Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus or Jerusalem/Palestine, offering a potentially distinct contribution to modern Jewish thought.”—Sephardic Horizons

“The views of Sephardi and Mizrahi intellectuals on political, religious, cultural, and social issues are often missing in discussions regarding modern Jewish thought. In order to overcome this deficiency, Behar and Ben-Dor Benite chose samples from the writings of nineteen Jews (including two women) from the Arab East, written during 1893-1958 in Hebrew, English, French and Arabic (all provided in English) in order to familiarize scholars, students and interested readers in the diversity of opinion among Sephardim and Mizrahim. . . . Presenting the views of these thinkers is an important contribution to the field of modern Jewish thought in general and to Sephardi and Mizrahi studies in particular.”—Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews

"This anthology is a remarkable achievement and an outstanding selection of original texts written by important Jewish intellectuals in the modern period. The editors, Moshe Behar and Zvi Ben-Dor Benite, look at Jewish writers from the Middle East as intellectuals, social critics, and political theorists, and not simply as chroniclers of the sociopolitical changes occurring in their societies. Sharing a wide range of approaches to politics and culture (liberalism, communism, nationalism), and selecting authors who defined themselves as Mizrahi, Sephardic, and Arab-Jewish, as well as Zionist, the editors have created a rich text that could be taught in classes about modernity and political thought, modern Jewish history, and Middle Eastern history." —H-Net

“The book is a must-read for scholars interested in the history of Oriental Jewry in the 19th and 20th centuries. It provides plentiful and useful leads for scholars who want to embark on further research of Mizrahi Jewry. . . . In addition, the volume should prove interesting for a more general readership, given its handbook-like presentation of the authors and their articles, supplemented by relevant footnotes that will assist non-specialists in appreciating the texts in a broader context.” —Bulletin des Simon Dubnow Instituts für Jüdische Geschichte und Culture

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Product Details

Brandeis University Press
Publication date:
Tauber Institute Series for the Study of European Jewry & The Brandeis Library of Modern Jewish Thought
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
2 MB

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What People are saying about this

Reuven Snir
“One of the most significant contributions to the study of the transformations of identities among the vibrant communities of Middle Eastern Jewry.”
David N. Myers
“Moshe Behar and Zvi Ben-Dor Benite have done a great service to scholarship by bringing together sources that reflect the robust discourse among Jewish intellectuals of Middle Eastern origin. They are to be heartily commended for this important act of historical reclamation.”
Ammiel Alcalay
“For complex political, historical, cultural, and linguistic reasons, the sources gathered in this book are virtually unknown. The editors must be commended for their meticulous presentation and the spirit in which this essential labor has been undertaken. This landmark collection opens the floodgates to new research in many fields.”
Lital Levy
“Pathbreaking and compelling, Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought is a sorely needed intervention in Jewish intellectual history. This book should be taught widely in college courses on Jewish and Middle Eastern history.”

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