Fashioning Jewish Identity in Medieval Western Christendom

Fashioning Jewish Identity in Medieval Western Christendom

by Robert Chazan
     
 

Five twelfth- and thirteenth-century polemicists from southern France and northern Spain are the first known Jewish polemicists from western Christendom, who identified major Christian challenges, as well as appropriate responses for fellow Jews under ever-increasing religious pressure. This analysis suggests that the Jewish polemicists ultimately attempted to

Overview

Five twelfth- and thirteenth-century polemicists from southern France and northern Spain are the first known Jewish polemicists from western Christendom, who identified major Christian challenges, as well as appropriate responses for fellow Jews under ever-increasing religious pressure. This analysis suggests that the Jewish polemicists ultimately attempted to offer their followers a significantly contrasting portrait of Christian and Jewish society: the former as powerful but irrational and morally debased; the latter as weak, but profoundly rational and morally elevated.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A useful synthesis of recent scholarship in early Jewish-Christian relations and a provocative basis for discussion of the future of modern Jewry in officially tolerant states." Speculum

"highly readable and straightfoward" An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies Herbert W. Basser, Queen's University

"Fasioning Jewish Identity is clearly written and well conceived, and it provides a cogent portrayal of the religious ideas, polemical techniques, and general social context informing these works that will be useful for both beginner and expert readers. Chazan's exploration of the conceptual disagreements underlying what have often been perceived as sterile scriptural ebates is particularly helpful, and he successfully retrieves this type of exegetical argumentation as a meaningful locus of discussion. The work is also valuable for its presentation of two little-known and previously untranslated texts, Meir ben Simon's Milhemet mitzvah and Nahmanides' Sefer ha-ge'ulah." - Eve Krakowski, Chicago, Illinois

"Chazan has written an incredibly well-organized, well-argued book. Each piece of evidence presented is laid on a solid foundation created in previous chapters, and his progression from antiquity to the middle ages is well thought out." - Melissa Bruninga-Matteau, History, UC Irvine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521100564
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
01/29/2009
Pages:
396
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Robert Chazan is Scheuer Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >