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Converts of Conviction. Faith and Scepticism in Nineteenth Century European Jewish Society

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Book Series: Studies and Texts in Scepticism ISSN: 2569-0523 ISBN: 9783110530797 9783110530858 Year: Volume: 1 Pages: vi, 109 DOI: 10.1515/9783110530797 Language: English
Publisher: De Gruyter
Subject: Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-19 12:59:22
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Abstract

The study of Jewish converts to Christianity in the modern era has long been marginalized in Jewish historiography. Labeled disparagingly in the Jewish tradition as meshumadim (apostates), many earlier Jewish scholars treated these individuals in a negative light or generally ignored them as not properly belonging any longer to the community and its historical legacy. This situation has radically changed in recent years with an outpouring of new studies on converts in variegated times and places, culminating perhaps in the most recent synthesis of modern Jewish converts by Todd Endelman in 2015.While Endelman argues that most modern converts left the Jewish fold for economic, social, or political reasons, he does acknowledge the presence of those who chose to convert for ideological and spiritual motives. The purpose of this volume is to consider more fully the latter group, perhaps the most interesting from the perspective of Jewish intellectual history: those who moved from Judaism to Christianity out of a conviction that they were choosing a superior religion, and out of doubt or lack of confidence in the religious principles and practices of their former one. Their spiritual journeys often led them to suspect their newly adopted beliefs as well, and some even returned to Judaism or adopted a hybrid faith consisting of elements of both religions. Their intellectual itineraries between Judaism and Christianity offer a unique perspective on the formation of modern Jewish identities, Jewish-Christian relations, and the history of Jewish skeptical postures.The approach of the authors of this book is to avoid broad generalizations about the modern convert in favor of detailed case studies of specific converts in four distinct localities: Germany, Russia, Poland, and England, all living in the nineteenth- century. In so doing, it underscores the individuality of each convert’s life experience and self-reflection and the need to examine more intensely this relatively neglected dimension of Jewish and Christian cultural and intellectual history.

Keywords

Converts --- Missionaries

Written Culture in a Colonial Context

Authors: ---
ISBN: 9781919895260 9781919899167 Year: DOI: 10.26530/oapen_628137 Language: English
Publisher: UCT Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched||L'Institut Francais de l'Afrique du Sud (IFAS) - 100293
Subject: History --- Migration
Added to DOAB on : 2017-04-28 11:01:31
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Abstract

There is very little in the modern literature on the history of written culture that describes the specific practices related to writing that were anchored in colonial contexts. It was not just ships, soldiers, missionaries and settlers that drove the process of European expansion from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The circulation of images, manuscripts and books between different continents played a key role too. The introduction and appropriation of writing into societies without alphabets was a major factor in changing the very function and meaning of written culture. This book explores the extent to which the types of written information that resulted during colonial expansion shaped the numerous and complex processes of cultural exchange from the 16th century onwards in Africa and the Americas.

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