In and out of the Ghetto: Jewish-Gentile Relations in Late Medieval and Early Modern Germany

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The essays examine the role of economics, politics, social organization, language, and religion in the relations between Jews and non-Jews in central Europe from the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries. The authors grapple with such relevant issues as cultural identity, representation, toleration, and minority-majority relations. Individually, the essays probe the central questions of Jewish social, economic, and cultural development within the territorial states, secular and clerical, and in both rural and urban environments. Collectively, they focus more attention on the period before the emancipation of the nineteenth century and the destruction of German Jewry in the middle of the twentieth, emphasizing both continuities and discontinuities in the history of Jews in Germany.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Here we have the ideal introduction to the scholarly debates that have been transforming the field....Any library acquiring the best work on early modern Europe should have this book." Religious Studies Review

"In and Out of the Ghetto succeeds admirably as a Zwischenbilanz, a report on the state of research in German Jewish history of the early modern period. Its contributors use a variety of methods in their attempt to reconstruct Jewish life and experience from the perspective of intellectual, social, and political history. The book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in the topic and contains many suggestions for future research. The book's interdisciplinary character makes it particularly useful for integrating the Jeish experience into the overall history of early modern Germany." Stephen G. Burnett, Sixteenth Century Journal

" stimulate further inquiry seems to be the general purpose of this volume....Students of Jewish or German history in the early modern period will find much to recommend this volume. It offers a varity of approaches that range from traditional studies of political, social, and economic structures to postmodern analyses of textx and renders, faithfully the contradictions and conundrums that beset Jewish-Gentile relations, the knowledge of which is the best antidote to the recurrent fascination of ahistorical over-simplification." Thomas Max Safley, Renaissance Quarterly

"This impressive volume, another in the valuable series sponsored in recent years by the German Historical Institute in Washington, is the result of a 1991 conference the editors organized through the Clark Library at UCLA." Amy Nelson Burnett, Central European History

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Editors' Prefaces
List of Contributors
Reflecting on German-Jewish History 1
1 The Jewish Quarters in German Towns during the Late Middle Ages 13
2 Organizational Forms of Jewish Popular Culture since the Middle Ages 29
3 Criminality and Punishment of the Jews in the Early Modern Period 49
4 Jews and Gentiles in the Holy Roman Empire - A Comment 71
5 Aspects of Stratification of Early Modern German Jewry: Population History and Village Jews 77
6 Jewish Economic Activity in Early Modern Times 91
7 Comparative Perspectives on Economy and Society: The Jews of the Polish Commonwealth - A Comment 103
8 Languages in Contact: The Case of Rotwelsch and the Two "Yiddishes" 109
9 Meeting on the Road: Encounters between German Jews and Christians on the Margins of Society 125
10 Contacts at the Bedside: Jewish Physicians and Their Christian Patients 137
11 Contacts and Relations in the Pre-Emancipation Period - A Comment 151
12 The Usurious Jew: Economic Structure and Religious Representations in an Anti-Semitic Discourse 161
13 Imagining the Jew: The Late Medieval Eucharistic Discourse 177
14 Representations of German Jewry: Images, Prejudices, Ideas - A Comment 209
15 German Territorial Princes and the Jews 215
16 Jews in Ecclesiastical Territories of the Holy Roman Empire 247
17 Jews in the Imperial Cities: A Political Perspective 275
18 Germans with a Difference? The Jews of the Holy Roman Empire during the Early Modern Era - A Comment 289
19 Germany and Its Jews: A Changing Relationship (1300-1800) 295
20 The Jewish Minority and the Christian Majority in Early Modern Central Europe 305
21 The Jews of the Netherlands in the Early Modern Period 311
22 Jewish Identity in a World of Corporations and Estates 317
Index 321
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