Jews and Arabs: A Concise History of Their Social and Cultural Relations

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This fascinating history by an eminent scholar explores the relationship between Jews and Arabs, from their beginnings 3,000 years ago into the 1970s. Although originally written in 1954, it was revised in 1974 to extend its reach in the aftermath of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The account remains current in its outlook because of the focus on social and cultural contacts as opposed to political and military issues. Its long-range examination of the reciprocal influence between these two peoples provides many valuable insights into the present-day impasse in their relations.
Jews and Arabs encompasses numerous subjects of historical and contemporary relevance: the myth of the so-called Semitic races; the Jewish tradition in Islam; the actual and legal position of Jews under Arabic Islam; the rise of Jewish philosophy under Islamic influence; Jewish and Islamic mysticism and poetry; and law and ritual. Author S. D. Goitein was the first professor of Islamic studies at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, and this study reflects his 30 years of experience in the field, which includes surveys of Muslim religious literature, Oriental Jewish communities, and medieval Egyptian documents. Erudite and well written, this volume is indispensable to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the complexities of the Arab-Jewish relationship.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486439877
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 3/24/2005
  • Series: Jewish, Judaism Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 527,256
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

1. The Problem
  1. A historical survey of Jewish Arab relations
  2. The State of Israel in its Arab environment
2. The truth about the common origins of the people of Israel and the Arabs
3. Why has the history of the two peoples taken such different courses?
4. The Jewish tradition in Islam
5. The actual and legal position of the Jews under Arabic Islam
6. The economic transformation and communal reorganization of the Jewish people in Islamic times
7. The cultural development of the Jewish people inside Arab Islam
  1. Jewish participation in the medieval civilization of the Middle East
  2. The linguistic aspects of Jewish Arabic symbiosis
  3. The rise of Jewish philosophy under Muslim impact
  4. Islamic and Jewish mysticism
  5. The acme of Jewish Arabic symbiosis: the Hebrew poetry of the Middle Ages
  6. Other spiritual contacts
    a. Sectarianism and Messianic movements
    b. Law and Ritual. The position of women
    c. Popular religion and custom
    d. Folk literature and art
8. The new confrontation
  1. Arab eclipse and re-emergence
  2. The coming of Israel
  3. The cultural aspects of the two coinciding revivals
  4. Recent developments
Selected Bibliography
Chronological Tables
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2011


    This text is an excellent scholarly performance of the relationship between the Jews and Arabs. The content is well written and easily digested.

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