Cultures of the Jews, Volume 1: Mediterranean Origins  -     By: David Biale
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Cultures of the Jews, Volume 1: Mediterranean Origins

Random House / 2006 / Paperback

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Product Description

Scattered over much of the world throughout most of their history, are the Jews one people or many? How do they resemble and how do they differ from Jews in other places and times? What have their relationships been to the cultures of their neighbors? To address these and similar questions, some of the finest scholars of our day have contributed their insights to Cultures of the Jews, a winner of the National Jewish Book Award upon its hardcover publication in 2002.

Constructing their essays around specific cultural artifacts that were created in the period and locale under study, the contributors describe the cultural interactions among different Jews---from rabbis and scholars to non-elite groups, including women---as well as between Jews and the surrounding non-Jewish world. What they conclude is that although Jews have always had their own autonomous traditions, Jewish identity cannot be considered the fixed product of either ancient ethnic or religious origins. Rather, it has shifted and assumed new forms in response to the cultural environment in which the Jews have lived.

Mediterranean Origins, the first volume in Cultures of the Jews, describes the concept of the "People" or "Nation" of Israel that emerges in the Hebrew Bible and the culture of the Israelites in relation to that of neighboring Canaanite groups. It also discusses Jewish cultures in Babylonia, in Palestine during the Greco-Roman and Byzantine periods, and in Arabia during the formative years of Islam.David Biale is the Emanuel Ringelblum Professor of Jewish History at the University of California, Davis.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: Random House
Publication Date: 2006
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.13 (inches)
ISBN: 0805212000
ISBN-13: 9780805212006
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

Publisher's Description

Scattered over much of the world throughout most of their history, are the Jews one people or many? How do they resemble and how do they differ from Jews in other places and times? What have their relationships been to the cultures of their neighbors? To address these and similar questions, some of the finest scholars of our day have contributed their insights to Cultures of the Jews, a winner of the National Jewish Book Award upon its hardcover publication in 2002.

Constructing their essays around specific cultural artifacts that were created in the period and locale under study, the contributors describe the cultural interactions among different Jews–from rabbis and scholars to non-elite groups, including women–as well as between Jews and the surrounding non-Jewish world. What they conclude is that although Jews have always had their own autonomous traditions, Jewish identity cannot be considered the fixed product of either ancient ethnic or religious origins. Rather, it has shifted and assumed new forms in response to the cultural environment in which the Jews have lived.

Mediterranean Origins, the first volume in Cultures of the Jews, describes the concept of the “People” or “Nation” of Israel that emerges in the Hebrew Bible and the culture of the Israelites in relation to that of neighboring Canaanite groups. It also discusses Jewish cultures in Babylonia, in Palestine during the Greco-Roman and Byzantine periods, and in Arabia during the formative years of Islam.

Author Bio

David Biale is the Emanuel Ringelblum Professor of Jewish History at the University of California, Davis.

Author Bio

David Biale is the Emanuel Ringelblum Professor of Jewish History at the University of California, Davis.

Editorial Reviews

“Lay readers already hooked on Jewish history will be endlessly fascinated, and those seeking a solid state-of-the art introduction to the field will find it here, with ample reference to other, more specialized or canonical works. . . One of the most nourishing Jewish books we've encountered in some time. . . . Wonderful.” —The Jerusalem Report

“The writers revel in the new vistas opened by a cultural approach, lavishly providing us, in generous detail, with descriptions of a Jewish world more various than historians have allowed us to glimpse.” —Tikkun

“Biale has gathered a stellar international group of scholars around the grand theme of Jewish cultural history. The tastes of many different intellectual palates will find various satisfactions here.” —Jewish Quarterly Review

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