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Karaite Judaism and Historical Understanding

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Karaite Judaism and Historical Understanding describes how a minority sectarian religious community constructs and uses historical ideology. It investigates the proportioning of historical ideology to law and doctrine and the influence of historical setting on religious writings about the past.
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Editorial Reviews

Meira Polliack
Fred Astren’s remarkably illuminating study charts the evolution of Karaite historical expression for a millennium, offering, for the first time in Karaite studies, a multileveled comparative examination of Karaism in the context of its changing relationship with the rabbinic worldview and with the Islamic and Christian host cultures. The richly documented analysis meticulously unravels the hidden historical and social mechanisms by which the Karaites developed a wide-ranging legal system that echoed the talmudism of their opponents, culminating in their own version of the rabbinic chain of tradition. Karaite Judaism and Historical Understanding will become essential reading to all who are interested in the wider understanding of the relationship of Jewish writings to the study of the Jewish past, and in the emergence and development of historical thinking amongst the Jews.
Department of Biblical Studies, Tel-Aviv University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570035180
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Series: Studies in Comparative Religion Series
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The Islamic context of Jewish history, seventh through eleventh centuries 23
Ch. 2 The past in early Karaite Judaism 65
Ch. 3 Confronting the past : Karaite historical thought in the Byzantine empire, twelfth through thirteenth centuries 124
Ch. 4 The problem of a Karaite chain of tradition 185
Ch. 5 Mobilizing the past : later Byzantino-Turkish Karaism, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries 217
Ch. 6 The narrative past : Karaite apologetic historiography in Eastern Europe, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries 244
App The chains of tradition published by Pinsker in Der Orient 283
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