Description : A formidable collection of studies on religious conversion and converts in Jewish history Theodor Dunkelgrün and Pawel Maciejko observe that the term "conversion" is profoundly polysemous. It can refer to Jews who turn to religions other than Judaism and non-Jews who tie their fates to that of Jewish people. It can be used to talk about Christians becoming Muslim (or vice versa), Christians "born again," or premodern efforts to Christianize (or Islamize) indigenous populations of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. It can even describe how modern, secular people discover spiritual creeds and join religious communities. Viewing Jewish history from the perspective of conversion across a broad chronological and conceptual frame, Bastards and Believers highlights how the concepts of the convert and of conversion have histories of their own. The volume begins with Sara Japhet's study of conversion in the Hebrew Bible and ends with Netanel Fisher's essay on conversion to Judaism in contemporary Israel. In between, Andrew S. Jacobs writes about the allure of becoming an "other" in late Antiquity; Ephraim Kanarfogel considers Rabbinic attitudes and approaches toward conversion to Judaism in the Middles Ages; and Paola Tartakoff ponders the relationship between conversion and poverty in medieval Iberia. Three case studies, by Javier Castaño, Claude Stuczynski, and Anne Oravetz Albert, focus on different aspects of the experience of Spanish-Portuguese conversos. Michela Andreatta and Sarah Gracombe discuss conversion narratives; and Elliott Horowitz and Ellie Shainker analyze Eastern European converts' encounters with missionaries of different persuasions. Despite the differences between periods, contexts, and sources, two fundamental and mutually exclusive notions of human life thread the essays together: the conviction that one can choose one's destiny and the conviction that one cannot escapes one's past. The history of converts presented by Bastards and Believers speaks to the possibility, or impossibility, of changing one's life. Contributors: Michela Andreatta, Javier Castaño, Theodor Dunkelgrün, Netanel Fisher, Sarah Gracombe, Elliott Horowitz, Andrew S. Jacobs, Sara Japhet, Ephraim Kanarfogel, Pawel Maciejko, Anne Oravetz Albert, Ellie Shainker, Claude Stuczynski, Paola Tartakoff.
Description : Between the 1870s-90s, considerable attention was paid to Jews and Judaism by English critics and writers. Argues that the consideration of Jews by English writers was often in the context of their efforts to describe and improve the English character. Observes that alongside English antisemitism there existed English attitudes which were in effect protective of the Jews. These included the Evangelical Revival's desire to both protect and convert the Jew, the English self-definition as both tolerant and believing in God (in contrast with intolerant Spain of the Inquisition and godless France of the Revolution), and the view expressed in George Eliot's "Daniel Deronda" which was affirmative of Judaism and the quest for a Jewish national homeland.
Description : A broad and ambitious overview of the significance of philosemitism in European and world history, from antiquity to the present.
Description : Excerpts from criticism of the works of novelists, poets, playwrights, short story writers and other creative writers who lived between 1800 and 1900, from the first published critical appraisals to current evaluations.