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Publication . Article . 2018

Appropriation and Differentiation: Jewish Identity in Medieval Ashkenaz

Elisheva Baumgarten;
Open Access
Published: 01 Apr 2018 Journal: AJS Review (issn: 0364-0094, Copyright policy )
Abstract
This article discusses the ways scholars have outlined the process of Jewish adaptation (or lack of it) from their Christian surroundings in northern Europe during the High Middle Ages. Using the example of penitential fasting, the first two sections of the article describe medieval Jewish practices and some of the approaches that have been used to explain the similarity between medieval Jewish and contemporary Christian customs. The last two sections of the article suggest that in addition to looking for texts that connect between Jewish and Christian thought and beliefs behind these customs, it is useful to examine what medieval Jews and Christians saw of each other's customs living in close urban quarters. Finally, the article suggests that when shaping medieval Jewish and Christian identity, the differences emphasized in shared everyday actions and visible practice were no less important than theological distinctions. As part of the discussion throughout the article, the terminology used by scholars to describe the process of Jewish appropriation from the local surroundings is described, focusing on terms such as “influence” and “inward acculturation,” as well as “appropriation.”
Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Appropriation Terminology Judaism Middle Ages History Christian Identity Classics Acculturation Jewish identity Penitential

Subjects

Literature and Literary Theory, Religious studies, History, Cultural Studies

Related Organizations
Funded by
EC| BeyondtheElite
Project
BeyondtheElite
Beyond the Elite: Jewish Daily Life in Medieval Europe
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 681507
  • Funding stream: H2020 | ERC | ERC-COG
Validated by funder
Related to Research communities
Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage
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