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Jews and Christians in Twelfth-century Europe

Michael A. Signer (editor) John H.Van Engen (editor)

ISBN: 9780268032548

Publication Date: May 2001

Format: Paperback

Also available as: Hardback  

These essays aim to provide a balanced perspective on the fate of 12th-century Jewish communities. The essays highlight areas of common or parallel activity between Jews and Christians, showing that interactions continued even after the attack on the Jews by marauding crusaders in 1096.
£31.50

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In the summer of 1096, marauding crusaders attacked Jewish communities in three Rhineland cities. These violent episodes disrupted what had been a fairly peaceful history of coexistence between Jews and Christians for more than two centuries. Although the two groups inhabited fundamentally different religious universes, Jews and Christians lived in the same towns, on the same streets, and pursued their lives with minimal interference, often with considerable cooperation. However, the events of 1096 caused relations between the two communities to deteriorate, with Jewish communities suffering as a result. The careful analyses of people, events, and texts provide a balanced perspective on the fate of twelfth-century Jewish communities. The contributors reveal considerable evidence that old routines and interactions between Christians and Jews persisted throughout this volatile period. The essays intentionally highlight areas of common or parallel activity: in vernacular literature, in biblical exegesis, in piety and mysticism, in the social context of conversion, in relations with prelates and monarchs, in coping in a time of change, renewal, and upheaval. Most importantly, the contributors insist on integrating both Jewish and Christian perspectives into the larger history of a very complex and increasingly urban twelfth-century Europe.
Illustrations Illustrations
Pages 440
Date Published 31 May 2001
Publisher University of Notre Dame Press
Series Notre Dame Conferences in Medieval Studies
Series Part No. 10
Subject/s European history   Early history: c 500 to c 1450/1500   History of religion   Jewish studies   Interfaith relations  
MICHAEL A. SIGNER is Abrams Proiessor of Jewish Thought and Culture in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. JOHN VAN ENGEN is Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, editor of The Past and Future of Medieval Studies (Notre Dame Press, 1994), and author of Devotio Moderna: Basic Writings.

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