Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate (Conjunctions of Religion and Power in the Medieval Past)

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9780801456503: Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate (Conjunctions of Religion and Power in the Medieval Past)

In a book with a bold new view of medieval Jewish history, written in a style accessible to nonspecialists and students as well as to scholars in the field, Marina Rustow changes our understanding of the origins and nature of heresy itself. Scholars have long believed that the Rabbanites and Qaraites, the two major Jewish groups under Islamic rule, split decisively in the tenth century and from that time forward the minority Qaraites were deemed a heretical sect. Qaraites affirmed a right to decide matters of Jewish law free from centuries of rabbinic interpretation; the Rabbanites, in turn, claimed an unbroken chain of scholarly tradition.

Rustow draws heavily on the Cairo Geniza, a repository of papers found in a Rabbanite synagogue, to show that despite the often fierce arguments between the groups, they depended on each other for political and financial support and cooperated in both public and private life. This evidence of remarkable interchange leads Rustow to the conclusion that the accusation of heresy appeared sporadically, in specific contexts, and that the history of permanent schism was the invention of polemicists on both sides. Power shifted back and forth fluidly across what later commentators, particularly those invested in the rabbinic claim to exclusive authority, deemed to have been sharply drawn boundaries.

Heresy and the Politics of Community paints a portrait of a more flexible medieval Eastern Mediterranean world than has previously been imagined and demonstrates a new understanding of the historical meanings of charges of heresy against communities of faith. Historians of premodern societies will find that, in her fresh approach to medieval Jewish and Islamic culture, Rustow illuminates a major issue in the history of religions.

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From the Back Cover:

"Heresy and the Politics of Community is a fine piece of historical scholarship, presenting the new and exciting idea that the sectarian divide between Rabbanites and Qaraites in the tenth and eleventh centuries in the Middle East not only was not as deep and antagonistic as usually assumed but also hardly existed at all in certain areas. Marina Rustow substantiates this claim through the judicious marshalling of evidence in a book that is highly professional, well conceived, and well executed. It will have a definite impact on the study of medieval Jewish history and is an important contribution to our understanding of Jewish religion and life."--Daniel J. Lasker, Norbert Blechner Professor of Jewish Values at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

About the Author:

Marina Rustow is Professor of Near Eastern Studies and History at Princeton University. She is a 2015 MacArthur Fellow and coeditor of Jewish Studies at the Crossroads of Anthropology and History: Authority, Diaspora, Tradition.

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Marina Rustow
Editore: Cornell University Press, United States (2014)
ISBN 10: 0801456509 ISBN 13: 9780801456503
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Descrizione libro Cornell University Press, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In a book with a bold new view of medieval Jewish history, written in a style accessible to nonspecialists and students as well as to scholars in the field, Marina Rustow changes our understanding of the origins and nature of heresy itself. Scholars have long believed that the Rabbanites and Qaraites, the two major Jewish groups under Islamic rule, split decisively in the tenth century and from that time forward the minority Qaraites were deemed a heretical sect. Qaraites affirmed a right to decide matters of Jewish law free from centuries of rabbinic interpretation; the Rabbanites, in turn, claimed an unbroken chain of scholarly tradition. Rustow draws heavily on the Cairo Geniza, a repository of papers found in a Rabbanite synagogue, to show that despite the often fierce arguments between the groups, they depended on each other for political and financial support and cooperated in both public and private life. This evidence of remarkable interchange leads Rustow to the conclusion that the accusation of heresy appeared sporadically, in specific contexts, and that the history of permanent schism was the invention of polemicists on both sides. Power shifted back and forth fluidly across what later commentators, particularly those invested in the rabbinic claim to exclusive authority, deemed to have been sharply drawn boundaries. Heresy and the Politics of Community paints a portrait of a more flexible medieval Eastern Mediterranean world than has previously been imagined and demonstrates a new understanding of the historical meanings of charges of heresy against communities of faith. Historians of premodern societies will find that, in her fresh approach to medieval Jewish and Islamic culture, Rustow illuminates a major issue in the history of religions. Codice libro della libreria AAZ9780801456503

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Marina Rustow
Editore: Cornell University Press, United States (2014)
ISBN 10: 0801456509 ISBN 13: 9780801456503
Nuovi Paperback Quantità: 1
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Descrizione libro Cornell University Press, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In a book with a bold new view of medieval Jewish history, written in a style accessible to nonspecialists and students as well as to scholars in the field, Marina Rustow changes our understanding of the origins and nature of heresy itself. Scholars have long believed that the Rabbanites and Qaraites, the two major Jewish groups under Islamic rule, split decisively in the tenth century and from that time forward the minority Qaraites were deemed a heretical sect. Qaraites affirmed a right to decide matters of Jewish law free from centuries of rabbinic interpretation; the Rabbanites, in turn, claimed an unbroken chain of scholarly tradition. Rustow draws heavily on the Cairo Geniza, a repository of papers found in a Rabbanite synagogue, to show that despite the often fierce arguments between the groups, they depended on each other for political and financial support and cooperated in both public and private life. This evidence of remarkable interchange leads Rustow to the conclusion that the accusation of heresy appeared sporadically, in specific contexts, and that the history of permanent schism was the invention of polemicists on both sides. Power shifted back and forth fluidly across what later commentators, particularly those invested in the rabbinic claim to exclusive authority, deemed to have been sharply drawn boundaries. Heresy and the Politics of Community paints a portrait of a more flexible medieval Eastern Mediterranean world than has previously been imagined and demonstrates a new understanding of the historical meanings of charges of heresy against communities of faith. Historians of premodern societies will find that, in her fresh approach to medieval Jewish and Islamic culture, Rustow illuminates a major issue in the history of religions. Codice libro della libreria AAZ9780801456503

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Descrizione libro Cornell University Press. Paperback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate, Marina Rustow. Codice libro della libreria B9780801456503

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Descrizione libro Cornell University Press, 2014. Condizione libro: New. Series: Conjunctions of Religion and Power in the Medieval Past. Num Pages: 472 pages, 14, 12 black & white halftones, 2 maps, 1 charts. BIC Classification: 1FB; HBJF1; HBLC1; HRAX; HRJ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 245 x 171 x 26. Weight in Grams: 828. . 2014. 1st Edition. Paperback. . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780801456503

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Descrizione libro Cornell University Press. Condizione libro: New. Series: Conjunctions of Religion and Power in the Medieval Past. Num Pages: 472 pages, 14, 12 black & white halftones, 2 maps, 1 charts. BIC Classification: 1FB; HBJF1; HBLC1; HRAX; HRJ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 245 x 171 x 26. Weight in Grams: 828. . 2014. 1st Edition. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780801456503

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